Upham's Corner Online

Partnership for Sustainable Communities in Boston

Posted: February 21, 2012     Nancy J Conrad

Partnership for Sustainable Communities Marks Two Trailblazing Years

In 2009 President Obama offered a new vision for sustainable communities which depended on cooperation among three agencies: 
  • HUD - Housing and Urban Development
  • DOT - Department of Transportation
  • EPA - Environmental Protection Agency
Dubbed the HUD-DOT-EPA Parnership for Sustainable Communities, it was designed to vastly improve how the agencies work together.

President Obama's challenge:  Coordinate efforts and help build communities where housing, public transportation, jobs, and services are conveniently connected, where businesses thrive, and where the air, water and land are clean.

Since June 2009, these three agencies have worked to help improve access to affordable housing, provide more transportation options at lower costs, and protect or restore the environment in communities across the nation.

View the Partnership for Sustainable Communities Fact Sheet

The Fairmount Corridor is the set of communities through which the Fairmount rail line runs from South Station to Readville, all within the City of Boston.

As much as this is a densely populated area with residents heavily dependent on public transportation, the Fairmount train runs through the corridor but makes very few stops especially where the public transportation is most needed.

The challenge of improving the corridor lies not just in the possibility adding new stops on the train, but in developing the land within walking distance (1/2 mile) of the train. 

Covered in the scope of this objective is housing, commercial space, green space, site cleanup (Brownfields sites) and local transportation planning.

Such a scenario is exactly what the Partnership for Sustainable Communities is designed for.

Rendering of Fairmount Corridor
Rendering of Fairmont Corridor in Boston, Massachusetts
with streetscape and train.

Since June 2009 Boston municipal agencies and regional community groups have been working with the Partnership agencies to improve access to the Fairmount Corridor and open up more economic, environmental and recreational opportunities for neighborhood residents.
  • DOT support is helping upgrade infrastructure, refurbish two transit stations, and build four more.
  • HUD is helping build new affordable homes near these stations. 
  • EPA is helping clean up nearby brownfield sites and prepare station areas for redevelopment.
When this work is complete, residents will enjoy more accessible rail service between Boston and the surrounding region, greater prospects for economic development around local stations, new affordable housing choices and more opportunities to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

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