Size: Neighborhood scale
Status: Complete, Implementation in progress
Transit stations are a tremendous community asset and often become magnets for social and economic activity. The Fairmount MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) Station in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood is no different. However, community leaders recognized that improvements were needed to make the station a great place for people of all ages, and to increase the appeal of riding the Fairmount/Indigo Line. With these goals in mind, the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation (SWBCDC) and the Fairmount/Indigo Line CDC Collaborative retained Street Plans and Principal Group to launch a placemaking planning effort to create a vision for station area improvements.
Street Plans began with a site visit to gather existing conditions data. Street Plans then led an initial planning meeting with representatives from neighborhood groups, local organizations, and the City of Boston. The meeting introduced placemaking principles and gathered input to inform the design of the larger public placemaking workshop.
Approximately 40 people attended the public placemaking workshop, including neighborhood leaders, residents, business owners, and high school students. Street Plans began the workshop with an introductory presentation, including an initial analysis of existing conditions and a presentation of case studies applicable to Hyde Park. Following the presentation, Street Plans led attendees in a walking tour and visioning exercise. Participants worked together to complete Street Observation Worksheets, documenting challenges and opportunities throughout the study area.
Finally, attendees returned to the community center and worked in small groups to flesh out their best ideas. Facilitators led the groups through a “48x48x48” visioning exercise, helping them map out a long-term vision, identifying what could be done in 48 hours, 48 days, and 48 weeks. For each time frame, the groups generated initial ideas for how the actions might be completed and who should be involved.
Following the workshop, Street Plans produced an engaging, image-focused summary report, outlining a path for short- and long-term implementation of priority recommendations.