Social Infrastructure: Towards More Walkable, Resilient, and Inclusive Gateway Cities

Published Date : November 18, 2022

This report looks at how the built environment supports social interaction and the formation of social capital. We measure the “social infrastructure” provided by active streetscapes, ground-floor establishments, civic spaces and institutions, and public transportation in five Gateway City downtowns. Our analysis draws on information collected from walk audits, which were conducted in partnership with experts from WalkBoston, as well as data from publicly-available sources.

Building on previous MassINC research exploring equitable transit-oriented development and inclusive entrepreneurship, the findings in this report offer insight on how communities deploy federal infrastructure funds to increase equity and advance the public good. The policy recommendations include strategies for stimulating infill development, centralizing parking, funding effective place governance organizations, and improving public transportation.

This research was made possible with financial support from the Barr Foundation.

Meet The Authors

Andre Leroux

Director, Gateway Hubs Project, MassINC

Sidney Kuesters

Former Transformative Transit Oriented Development (TTOD) Fellow, MassINC

Ben Forman

Research Director, MassINC

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