Rose Center for Public Leadership Working with Boston Mayor Walsh on Washington Street Corridor

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BOSTON, MA – (March 30, 2015) – The Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership, jointly operated by the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), is working this week with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to help the city reassess the identity of and create a new vision for Washington Street in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood, thinking strategically about the types of land uses, public realm, and scale of development best suited for the corridor. The panel of experts from around the nation arrive in Boston today and will spend four days working with City staff to provide independent recommendations in advance of a Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) planning study of Washington Street between Forest Hills Station and Egleston Square.

The Rose Center’s mission is to encourage and support excellence in land use decision making by providing public officials with access to information, best practices, peer networks, and other resources to foster creative, efficient, practical, and sustainable land use policies. Each year, the center’s Daniel Rose Fellowship program invites the mayors of four large U.S. central cities to select a team with land use decision-making authority to receive technical assistance on a local land use challenge. This year’s fellowship class is from the cities of Boston, Omaha, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

Mayor Walsh’s team includes Rose Fellows Sheila Dillon, chief of housing and director of the department of neighborhood development, City of Boston; John FitzGerald, senior project manager, Boston Redevelopment Authority; and Joyce Linehan, chief of policy, City of Boston Mayor’s Office; who are assisted by their team coordinator Danny Green, deputy chief of policy, City of Boston Mayor’s Office. In addition to technical assistance on their city’s land use challenge, the fellowship program provides participants with leadership training and professional development opportunities from NLC’s and ULI’s respective programming and networks of private- and public-sector members.

The land use challenge for the City of Boston, as identified by Mayor Walsh and his fellowship team, is to evaluate transit-oriented, other residential, and commercial development opportunities along a one-mile stretch of Washington Street between the Forest Hills MBTA station and Egleston Square. The Rose Center panel will lend an independent voice as the City embarks on a planning study to examine and determine the compatibility of different uses including housing, commercial, and light industrial while gauging multi-modal transportation impacts. Of particular focus is the recent wave of mixed-use residential projects making their way to the corridor and determining the implications of redevelopment. The city also will focus on reassessing the identity of the corridor to create a more aesthetically consistent public realm from end to end. Property owners, public agencies, and other stakeholders will be able to incorporate relevant ideas from the Rose Center’s study visit as the BRA embarks on its planning process to determine a clear direction for the future of the Washington Street Corridor.

The panel, co-chaired by Boston’s Rose Fellowship faculty advisers—architect Peter Cavaluzzi, principal, Perkins Eastman, New York City, and development adviser Calvin Gladney, managing partner, Mosaic Urban Partners, Washington, D.C.—will meet with Mayor Walsh and his team to tour the site and meet with community and civic leaders and other stakeholders. Drawing upon their professional expertise and experiences, the panelists will apply the information gathered from the site tour and stakeholder meetings and present recommendations on how to implement the community’s vision. All of Boston’s expenses to participate in the program—including the panel’s visit—are underwritten by the Rose Center to ensure objectivity during the process.

According to Rose Center Executive Director Jess Zimbabwe, the panel’s work represents an excellent opportunity to revitalize a key area of the city that has significant development potential. “We are very excited to work with Mayor Walsh and his team to help re-energize the Washington Street Corridor,” Zimbabwe said. “The goal is to leverage the area’s human capital and existing development to attract new investment in a variety of land uses that will provide an economic boost as well as enhanced public space that benefits the entire community.”

“Local officials play a critical role in land use decision-making, and we are excited to see the opportunities and outcomes on Washington Street resulting from the Rose Center’s partnership with the City of Boston,” said National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. “The National League of Cities is proud to support the Rose Center’s mission to work with elected leaders and staff to promote the best land use policies in urban areas, which results in building better communities for our residents.”

“We are honored to have been selected by the Rose Center for this opportunity,” said Mayor Walsh. “The concepts and ideas that this group of national experts can provide will be extremely valuable as we figure out how to maximize the potential of the Washington Street Corridor, so that it contributes positively to the growth of our city. I look forward to a robust public process to hear the thoughts of the community on the results of this study, as they know the needs of their neighborhood best.”

The Daniel Rose Fellowship is the flagship program of the Rose Center, established in 2008 by the ULI Foundation Governor Daniel Rose. The purpose of the fellowship program is to provide city leaders with the insights, peer-to-peer learning, and analysis needed to successfully improve their cities. The fellowship’s program of work includes a study tour of another U.S. or foreign city, working retreats at NLC’s and ULI’s national conferences, and study visits to each of the four fellowship cities. The cities of Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit; Hartford, Connecticut; Honolulu; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky;  Memphis, Minneapolis; Nashville; Oakland, California; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; Providence, Rhode Island; Sacramento, California; Tacoma, Washington and Tampa, Florida have participated in the first five years of the fellowship program.

NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS: Representatives of the Rose Center will be making a public presentation with preliminary findings at 9:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, April 2 in the BRA Board Room, 9th floor of City Hall.


About the Rose Center for Public Leadership
Founded in 2008 with a major gift from real estate developer Daniel Rose, the Rose Center provides public officials with access to information, best practices, peer networks, and other resources to encourage and support excellence in land use decision making. The yearlong Daniel Rose Fellowship program provides the mayors of four large U.S. cities with ULI assistance on a local land use development challenge. Beginning in 2014, the Rose Center operates as a partnership between the Urban Land Institute and the National League of Cities.

About the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute ( is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 33,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

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