New MassINC Research Sizes Up the Untapped Potential of Gateway City Rail

Exploring the Future of Transit-Oriented Development

Leaders from across the state gathered at the UMass Club last week for the unveiling of a major new report estimating the long-term potential of transit-oriented development (TOD) in Gateway Cities. The culmination of a year of methodical work by a MassINC-led research team, this new study provides a detailed look at how many potential additional jobs and residents the land around Gateway City stations could accommodate if that real estate becomes fully developed and occupied. The analysis also dissects what achieving this level of development would mean for the performance of our transportation networks, as well as the environment.

In a wide-ranging conversation moderated by the Boston Globe’s Dante Ramos, Secretary Ash and Secretary Pollack responded to this new analysis, sharing their recent experience with TOD around the state, and their sense of what a changing economic and mobility future will mean for Gateway City revitalization efforts. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl then gathered views from the field, leading a panel discussion with developer and Massport board member Duane Jackson, Lynn Mayor Tom McGee, Boston Chamber of Commerce President Jim Rooney, and MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay.

We deeply appreciate these leaders for their participation, and all those took time out to join us for this important discussion. Below you’ll find links to video from the event, as well as related media coverage. Please visit our website to download the report and additional analysis.

And stay tuned! Over the coming weeks, we’ll be visiting communities to present our findings and continue to dialog about how we work together to capture the promise of Gateway City TOD.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this important work possible.

Read the latest media coverage

Rail reality: Focus on transit offers huge potential for Worcester growth, study says

“The interesting thing that we found about Worcester is that the market is strengthening to the point where it can be developed,” said Mr. Forman, citing the CitySquare project as an example. “In Worcester, there’s going to be gaps in some projects, but they’re starting to narrow, to the extent that if we improve the transit service and make the transit service a larger development value,” the development will occur.

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MassINC: Building near commuter rail could transform cities

The study finds that today, the land surrounding commuter rail stations in these 13 cities tends to be vacant and underutilized. It could potentially house 230,000 residents and 230,000 jobs, which would be an increase of around 140,000 residents and workers.

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Editorial: State, cities must get on the same track with transit-oriented development

Large corporations are moving back into the city. To support such a trend — to ensure that employers have easier access to talented workers — we need the state, cities, towns and private developers to embrace transit-oriented development incentives and, once and for all, get on the same track.

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