The Boston "what if" thread

stick n move

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When theres clearly extremely high housing demand and extremely low supply and the city is in dire need of units, I dont understand why they cant just do something like this. Pave and layout a grid that connects to the surrounding streets and sell the lots. Give some parameters for materials, height...etc and let it fill in. It would fill in organically vs an Assembly masterplan, developers would be all over it, the city gets a huge chunk of housing online.
 

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stick n move

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You can align it around the existing buildings so you can fill in around the buildings that dont wanna sell or move, and then before you know it you have a “real”, dense neighborhood that ties into the old grid. Hell theyd add character to a new neighborhood. Were clearly thinking too small and building too slow. This wouldnt even be enough to make a big dent, because were so far in the hole, but its a great start.

Not being a masterplanned neighborhood is the key, as it would be a mix of different architects, ideas, materials, people, just like it is going to be one day anyways and just like neighborhoods are supposed to be built. I dont see the problem with laying out a grid that fits right into the existing grid. Do it at fort point too. Its going to fill in this way anyways, lets go... Were going wayyy too slow, but I think thats by design to make lots of money on real estate.
 

stefal

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You can align it around the existing buildings so you can fill in around the buildings that dont wanna sell or move, and then before you know it you have a “real”, dense neighborhood that ties into the old grid. Hell theyd add character to a new neighborhood. Were clearly thinking too small and building too slow. This wouldnt even be enough to make a big dent, because were so far in the hole, but its a great start.

Not being a masterplanned neighborhood is the key, as it would be a mix of different architects, ideas, materials, people, just like it is going to be one day anyways and just like neighborhoods are supposed to be built. I dont see the problem with laying out a grid that fits right into the existing grid. Do it at fort point too. Its going to fill in this way anyways, lets go... Were going wayyy too slow, but I think thats by design to make lots of money on real estate.
I like the idea, and I've seen a few college theses that do exactly this. In fact, I think Yale used this place as a study for a possible Olympic-Village-turned-affordable-housing-neighborhood, with human scaled buildings, streets, and even canals. Though there are a few things to consider. I believe the Post Office is supposed to relocate to one of those plots, if that project ever takes off, IIRC. On top of that, you're dealing with dozens of landowners, agencies, and god-knows-whatelse in that gigantic swath of land. Something like this could possibly be phased out, though you wouldn't see the housing market react as we wish it would, and it might not be "complete" for decades this way...
 

goody

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Not being a masterplanned neighborhood is the key, as it would be a mix of different architects, ideas, materials, people, just like it is going to be one day anyways and just like neighborhoods are supposed to be built. I dont see the problem with laying out a grid that fits right into the existing grid. Do it at fort point too. Its going to fill in this way anyways, lets go... Were going wayyy too slow, but I think thats by design to make lots of money on real estate.
There are some really great examples of this type of planning in The Netherlands and I agree, I would love to see more of this. I think the issue in the American/Boston context is that the ground is privately owned and already developed.

https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2015/dec/15/almere-dutch-city-alternative-housing-custom-build

In The Netherlands the government owns much of the ground and the Dutch have a very sharp urban to agricultural gradient. The result is that the government has means and greenfield space directly next to urban areas which makes planning urban expansions a bit easier. That said there are similar efforts on some of the old industrial waterfronts, I think Java Island and Ijburg are two such examples.
 

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