Monday, February 15, 2010

Lower Highlands and Little Cambodia

Dick Howe over at richardhowe.com put up an interesting post about an article in The Boston Globe discussing making "Little Cambodia" a bit more official:  http://richardhowe.com/2010/02/15/lowells-little-cambodia/

Some of this is based on studies MIT has been doing in various Lowell neighborhoods over the past few years - I went on a walking trip with some of the students through the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust last year when they were studying Back Central / Sacred Heart.

To date, the MIT studies in Lowell have been:

Coincidentally, I was discussing the Back Central plan with Errol over at Comfort Furniture today.  Some of their suggestions are very pie-in-the-sky (reducing sidewalk parking in Back Central, seemingly by imagining people can just drive fewer cars and take the bus) or not fully sensitive to Lowell's history and culture (ramming a road through South Common to improve access to the train station), or both (turning Comfort Furniture into a series of shops for imaginary people who would pay $14 round-trip to take the MBTA from Boston to Lowell to shop at a boutique outlet in that old factory).  

However, I do like urban studies, and I certainly think we should all appreciate one of the world's best technological universities focusing so heavily on our little city.  There are a number of great ideas in these reports - sometimes a blow-in's views can be refreshing.

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