Cambridge Crossing (NorthPoint) | East Cambridge/Charlestown | Cambridge/Boston

Equilibria

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.....compounded that it's right next to the new T station.

Pathetic planning.
Putting the height in the back on a site like this (rather than on the neighborhood boundary) is actually pretty standard planning.
 

Brad Plaid

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The vast majority of Cambridge is low rise and relatively low density. A rare opportunity to build taller and denser has not been maximized to anywhere near its potential. Residential should be topping off at 300' rather than 200' and the suburbanized amounts of open space and plazas should never have been allowed.
 

BronsonShore

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The vast majority of Cambridge is low rise and relatively low density. A rare opportunity to build taller and denser has not been maximized to anywhere near its potential. Residential should be topping off at 300' rather than 200' and the suburbanized amounts of open space and plazas should never have been allowed.
Say what? Cambridge is the 26th densest city in America, and denser than Boston itself. I recently took a friend from Chicago on a tour through Cambridge and Somerville and they couldn't believe how close together the buildings were.
 

odurandina

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^^come on: what do your eyes tell you at the T.O.D. sites.
btw, Boston is the 3rd densest for cities over 500,000 pop.
 

whighlander

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Say what? Cambridge is the 26th densest city in America, and denser than Boston itself. I recently took a friend from Chicago on a tour through Cambridge and Somerville and they couldn't believe how close together the buildings were.
That statement is an example of why statistics out of context are so popular with politicians and pseudo-intellectuals

Boston and Paris are comparable in area

Yet Paris is 3X the population of Boston proper and [Paris + inner suburbs] is comparable to Greater Boston in population

Yet Boston has many many more tall buildings than Paris proper

It all depends how you define your context

Paris Demographics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Paris

City of Paris (department 75)
Population 2,211,297
Area 105 km2 (41 sq mi)
Density 20,169/km2 (52,240/sq mi)
+0.45%/year
Inner ring (Petite couronne) (Depts. 92, 93, 94)
Population 4,366,961
Ares 657 km2 (254 sq mi)
Density 6,647/km2 (17,220/sq mi)
+0.89%/yea
Paris Tall Buildings [100m+] 25 [doesn't include buildings in suburbs of Paris]
Boston Tall Buildings [100m +] 49

Boston Demographics
https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/bostoncitymassachusetts
https://censusreporter.org/profiles/31000US14460-boston-cambridge-newton-ma-nh-metro-area/


Population [City]
Population estimates, July 1, 2018, (V2018) 694,583
Population estimates base, April 1, 2010, (V2018) 617,786
Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 (estimates base) to July 1, 2018, (V2018) 12.4%
Population, Census, April 1, 2010 617,594

Geography
Population per square mile, 2010 12,792.7
Land area in square miles, 2010 48.28

Greater Boston

Population 4,836,531
Area 3,485.9 square miles
Density 1,387.5 people per square mile
PS the old Shawmut peninsula & area just west that was tidal / Charles [e.g. the BackBay] is very dense -- yet parts of West Roxbury with many single family houses on large lots are less dense than the oldest settled parts of Lexington [a typical Boston suburb]

Paris put a lot of tall building and a lot of population in the inner suburbs / districts such as La Defense [within Hauts-de-Seine] --- the whole thing is known as le Petite Couronne (Little Crown, i.e. Inner Ring) includes the 3 departments: Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne to distinguish it from the rest of the Paris Region known collectively as the Île-de-France [similar in many regards with the Boston CSA which includes Providence and Worcester MSAs] -0- again and again Context
 
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BronsonShore

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That statement is an example of why statistics out of context are so popular with politicians and pseudo-intellectuals

Boston and Paris are comparable in area

Yet Paris is 3X the population of Boston proper and [Paris + inner suburbs] is comparable to Greater Boston in population

Yet Boston has many many more tall buildings than Paris proper

It all depends how you define your context
Uh, yeah. I'm aware of that (despite being a pseudo-intellectual). I'm also aware that density as a metric can be greatly impacted by the presence of significant infrastructure like airports, highways, and parkland (to say nothing of arbitrary municipal boundaries) which can skew the numbers such that they don't really reflect the density of a place as we experience it on the streets. I suspect that most people on this board are similarly aware of such effects.

None of this has anything to do with the fact that the statement "the vast majority of Cambridge is relatively low density" is objectively untrue. It is true that the vast majority of Cambridge is made up of low-rise development, but height =/= density.

What exactly was your point?
 
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Brad Plaid

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None of this has anything to do with the fact that the statement "the vast majority of Cambridge is relatively low density" is objectively untrue. It is true that the vast majority of Cambridge is made up of low-rise development, but height =/= density.
Density is a subjective thing. Even if some stats say Cambridge is considered one of the more populated small cities it's hardly close to reaching any kind of growth limit (and who gets to decide what that limit might be?), room can be made for many, many more residents. Cambridge Xing, as designed, will be an adequate though uninspired, under-built office park-ish place rather than a bold example of a great 21st century urban neighborhood.
 

whighlander

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Uh, yeah. I'm aware of that (despite being a pseudo-intellectual). I'm also aware that density as a metric can be greatly impacted by the presence of significant infrastructure like airports, highways, and parkland (to say nothing of arbitrary municipal boundaries) which can skew the numbers such that they don't really reflect the density of a place as we experience it on the streets. I suspect that most people on this board are similarly aware of such effects.

None of this has anything to do with the fact that the statement "the vast majority of Cambridge is relatively low density" is objectively untrue. It is true that the vast majority of Cambridge is made up of low-rise development, but height =/= density.

What exactly was your point?
That essentially was it!!

My primary point was Paris is a low [in height] - very dense [in terms of buildings / unit area] and big [in terms of highly developed area] city -- many buildings in Paris are only a few stories but they house a lot of people in each "district" [arrondissement] and the footprint of the city is quite large and close to uniformly dense in terms of intensity of development-- hence the overall population [3X Boston] and high population density [one of the highest in Europe exceeding London].

Boston on the other hand -- in its core is much taller than the core of Paris. The buildings in Boston are equally close together as in Paris -- so in principle they could house a lot more people than an equal area of Paris. But they don't -- the primary difference is that the core of Boston is small and very easily walkable and mostly commercial [the old Financial District and Back Bay Office district]. Outside of the core --- the rest of Boston is a melange of suburban streets [the "quaint" and friendly neighborhoods with their 3 deckers and single family homes], industrial districts and parks.

Now some of this is changing on both sides of the Atlantic -- Paris is now building up in the core for residences and hotels. Meanwhile Boston's dense core is spreading into traditional neighborhood places such as Fenway and West End, expanding from traditional office district uses to R&D and residences as well, and most importantly colonizing former industrial areas such as South Boston Seaport, Alston Railyards, Suffolk Down, Turnpike Interchange, Cambridge Rail Yards, Flower & Meat Market District, etc.

By the way as to the "pseudo-intellectual" appellation -- that was aimed directly at officials [both elected and other] who spew statistics without either thought or knowledge of the underlying material
 

odurandina

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Paris is extremely well developed w/ virtually nothing below 6~8 stories....
Like others have mentioned before, consistency is underrated.
 

JeffDowntown

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The point that the density discussion keeps missing is that Boston/Cambridge does not just need density per se, it needs density near transit. Cambridge Crossing should be extreme density near transit (Lechmere), but it falls short on that point.

Spreading a bunch of car-focused people out across mid-density neighborhood streets away from rapid transit lines does not help prevent carmageddon (think South Boston). High rises near transit stations can help prevent that much more.
 

whighlander

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Paris is extremely well developed w/ virtually nothing below 6~8 stories....
Like others have mentioned before, consistency is underrated.
Not to get into a "pissoir" contest -- but I remember a lot of 3 & 4 story blocks in many arrondissements such as the one where I stayed for a few weeks [13e - Rue de Tolbiac]

while working on a project with a local company



-- remember much of Paris predates elevators a lot like the residential and old commercial blocks in the Back Bay where [surprise ] there was quite a Parisian influence circa late 1800's
 
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dshoost88

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Not to get into a "pissoir" contest -- but I remember a lot of 3 & 4 story blocks in many arrondissements such as the one where I stayed for a few weeks [13e - Rue de Tolbiac]

while working on a project with a local company



-- remember much of Paris predates elevators a lot like the residential and old commercial blocks in the Back Bay where [surprise ] there was quite a Parisian influence circa late 1800's
Literally every building in the Paris photo you shared is 6+ stories. I did a google street view of Rue de Tolbiac and found that most buildings along it were 5-8 stories (like the rest of Paris, where I've walked nearly 70 miles of its streets and can corroborate).
 

type001

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Funny, I just got back from my first trip ever to Paris. Very nice city, but most of the streets were exactly the same to me. Narrow streets in every direction containing similar 4-5 story buildings. It's like being in a rat maze. Don't get me wrong, I really like it. Lyon was dynamite though.
 

whighlander

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Literally every building in the Paris photo you shared is 6+ stories. I did a google street view of Rue de Tolbiac and found that most buildings along it were 5-8 stories (like the rest of Paris, where I've walked nearly 70 miles of its streets and can corroborate).
That was an available photo on Wiki of an area close to where I stayed

The main intersection and major thoroughfares are lined with taller buildings -- but if you walk back behind down the non-commercial streets -- you find a lot of 4 or so floor walk-ups

Just don't have any available photos

By the way -- congrats on you walking nearly 70 miles of the thousand? *1 *2? miles of streets -- are you an astronomer by any chance?

*1
1000 miles -- pretty good guess -- it appears that Paris has about 1500 km of streets
*2
-Googling around on Paris streets and km -- I tracked down a story about lowering speed limits to 30 km/hr
https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/paris-to-limit-speeds-to-30-kmhr-over-entire-city/
it had the following reference to number of km to be affected by the plan
where top speeds are already limited to 30 km/hr. By 2013 some 560 kilometers of the city streets were already in such areas, about one third of the total.
 

shmessy

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Putting the height in the back on a site like this (rather than on the neighborhood boundary) is actually pretty standard planning.
The building I was referencing was literally TWO stories. My suburban house is taller.


.
 

Cortes

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Does Logan get included when the density of Boston is calculated? It represents almost 8% of Boston's land, even including the islands (which are a national recreation area so probably shouldn't be included either at roughly 2.5% of the area). My math isn't exact here but disincluding both of them boosts the population density to somewhere in the 15 thousands. This doesn't quite get to Somerville but pushes us right to Chicago.
 

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