‘Deeply disappointed’: Harvard-Allston task force calls on Bacow to increase collaboration | New

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The Harvard-Allston task force wrote a letter to University President Lawrence S. Bacow on Wednesday calling for greater “accountability” and awareness around the development of the Harvard Business Research Campus, two weeks. after submitting a comment letter to Boston City Hall expressing concerns about the project.

The November 10 letter, signed by 13 of the 15 task force members, praised the University’s long history of leadership, but wrote that the task force is “deeply disappointed” by an alleged lack of collaboration among residents of Harvard and Allston.

In the letter, the signatories requested to meet with Harvard planners and administrators – including the university’s newly appointed director of planning and design Purnima Kapur – to learn from their “vast experience” and their knowledge. communicate residents’ concerns.

Members of the task force also called on Harvard to “take the lead” in addressing the impact of climate change on the Allston-Brighton neighborhood by instituting a “green space planning initiative” mirroring previous work by Harvard on climate change, public health and equity.

“We join with the Boston Parks and Recreation Commission in asking Harvard to plan green spaces first, so that development revolves around a green resilient network, rather than buildings first, forcing green spaces.” to go to “pocket parks” and “sidewalk rooms” as the current master plan suggests “, reads the letter.

More housing is needed, according to the letter, but members of the task force wrote that they had seen “no proposals” that meet the needs of the neighborhood.

“The current process in Allston of leasing plots one by one to private developers leaves no room for innovations such as community land trusts, co-op housing and other approaches to social housing,” the signatories added.

Members of the task force wrote that they wanted more comprehensive “workforce development” and training initiatives at Allston, led by Harvard, rather than individual developers. Harvard’s development, the signatories say, will create a need for jobs, including jobs in land use planning, building management and retail.

Members also wrote that they were concerned about what they see as a piecemeal transport plan by Harvard and its associated developers.

“Harvard partners have offered vague and unworkable suggestions for adding to transit service or reducing vehicle share, but in the absence of a holistic analysis of regional traffic volumes and patterns, the critical question of transportation cannot be properly handled, ”they wrote.

University spokeswoman Brigid O’Rourke wrote in an emailed statement that the University and local residents share similar goals in Allston’s development.

“President Bacow and Harvard appreciate the in-depth feedback from members of the Harvard Allston Task Force and look forward to continued collaboration as we work to advance our shared goals of creating a vibrant, fair and welcoming neighborhood.” which complements and enriches the current Allston- Brighton district, ”she wrote.

– Editor James R. Jolin can be contacted at [email protected]

– Editor Maribel Cervantes can be contacted at [email protected]

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