Kendall Square Central Square Planning Study (K2C2)

Map of K2C2 planning study area

In 2011 - 2012, the City of Cambridge conducted a comprehensive planning study to develop a vision for Central Square, Kendall Square, and the area South of Main Street (including the Osborn Triangle) connecting the two squares. The Study area map is available here.

In addition to developing a vision for the study area, the process has formulated recommendations including specific actionable steps to achieve the vision. The City retained the services of a team of consultants led by Goody Clancy to assist the City and Advisory Committees in refining the vision for the Study Area. The consultant team, which includes expertise in land use planning and urban design, retail, housing, market analysis, and transportation planning, was hired after a competitive RFP process that was widely advertised and drew proposals from across North America.  The consultant team was also charged with providing peer review of anticipated rezoning proposals in the area – namely the Novartis, Forest City, and MIT rezoning petitions.

The K2C2 Study was guided by two committees comprising diverse members including neighborhood residents, property owners, and representatives of businesses and institutions, which were appointed by the City Manager after issuing an open call for interest.  The twenty-member Kendall Square Advisory Committee: 2011 (K2 Committee) focused on Kendall Square and the Osborn Triangle.  The 21 person Central Square Advisory Committee: 2011/2012 (C2 Committee), focused on Central Square and Osborn Triangle.

Each of the Committees worked for over a year and had over twenty meetings.  In addition to these Committee discussions which were open to everyone and included a public comment period, a series of public meetings, workshops, charrettes, and Mondays-in-the-Square were held to solicit input from the broader community.  

The Committee recommendations and final reports are available below.  Please note that both final reports are divided into two parts; in each case you will need to review both parts to read the entire report.

K2C2 Central Square report cover Central Square




K2C2 Kendall Square report cover Kendall Square

 

For More Information

For more information, please contact Iram Farooq at ifarooq@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-4606.

The Central Square recommendations and Kendall Square recommendations are being considered for implementation. Zoning recommendations are under discussion by the Planning Board, and information related to zoning will be made available in the "Zoning & Other Materials" section of this page and on the CDD Zoning Amendments page.

The following rezoning petitions were adopted by the City Council informed by the K2C2 discussions and recommendations.  Details, including related letters of commitment, are available on the CDD Zoning Amendments page.

  • Novartis Petition to establish SD-15, May 26, 2011
  • Forest City Petition to amend CRDD, Feb 25, 2013
  • MIT PUD-5 Petition, April 8, 2013

June 7, 2013

Upcoming meeting of Interest

  • Tuesday, June 11, 7:00 PM -- Second Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.  Planning Board discussion on C2 Draft Zoning. Second Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway. Materials for discussion at this meeting are available below.
  • Tuesday, July 30, 5:00 PM -- Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.  City Council Neighborhood & Long Term Planning Committee public meeting on the C2 Committee's non-zoning recommendations and potential options to make the neighborhood safer and more family-friendly.

May 8, 2013

Upcoming meeting of Interest

April 1, 2013

Upcoming Meetings of Interest 

  • Tuesday, April 2, 4:00 P. M. -- Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.  Ordinance Committee hearing on the MIT zoning petition.
  • Tuesday, April 2, 7:00 P. M. -- Second Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.  Joint meeting of the Planning Board and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority to discuss the K2 recommendations.  For details, please check the Planning Board page.

March 27, 2013

For the presentation from the March 27 City Council Roundtable on the recommendations of the C2 Committee, please check the tab 'Presentations: Other'

February 13, 2013

The following analyses were presented to the Planning Board at their February 12 meeting to provide background and context for the K2C2 recommendations and the MIT zoning petition

Housing

Transportation

Design Guidelines

December 10, 2012

The latest Central Square documents

December 4, 2012

Upcoming Planning Board Meeting

  • Tuesday, December 4, 7:00 P. M., Second Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway
  • Discussion of Central Square and Osborn Triangle Plan & Recommendations and of Proposed MIT Zoning (Note: there are other items on the agenda.)
  • For details, please check the Planning Board page.

November 27, 2012

Upcoming C2 meetings

Draft materials under discussion are available for download: (1) DRAFT Plan & Recommendations (2) DRAFT Design Guidelines

  • Tuesday, November 27, 6:00 – 9:00 PM -- Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue -- Topics: Design Guidelines + Final Recommendations.
  • Wednesday, November 28, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue -- Topics: Finalize Parking Lot Vision + Final Recommendations
  • Tuesday, December 4, Planning Board: Central Square Recommendations discussion. Planning Board meetings begin at 7:00 PM. For detailed agenda for the date, please check here.

Upcoming K2 meeting

  • Tuesday, December 4, Planning Board: MIT zoning. Planning Board meetings begin at 7:00 PM. For detailed agenda for the date, please check here.

November 19, 2012

The Greater Boston Housing Report Card referenced by Barry Bluestone at the Oct 25 C2 meeting is now available for download at the Dukakis Center website.

Upcoming C2 meeting

  • Tuesday, November 27, 6:00 – 9:00 PM -- Location TBD -- Topics: Consolidate & Finalize Recommendations
  • Wednesday, November 28, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue -- Topics: Finalize Recommendations

Upcoming K2 meeting

The area-wide zoning recommendations for the Kendall Square area will be discussed at Planning Board on Tuesday, November 20. Click here for the memo to the Planning Board outlining the recommendations.

  • Tuesday, November 20, Planning Board: Kendall Square Plan and Recommendations. Planning Board meetings begin at 7:00 PM. For detailed agenda for the date, please check here.

November 7, 2012

Upcoming C2 meetings:

  • Wednesday, November 7, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Sullivan Chamber -- Topics: Consolidate & Finalize Recommendations
  • Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Sullivan Chamber -- Topics: Consolidate & Finalize Recommendations
  • Thursday, November 15, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- CCTV, 438 Massachusetts Avenue -- Topics: Consolidate & Finalize Recommendations
  • Wednesday, November 28, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue -- Topics: Finalize Recommendations

Upcoming K2 meeting

The Kendall Square plan and zoning recommendations are under review and consideration at the Planning Board. Presentations and handouts from Planning Board meetings are available in the 'Presentations: Other' tab on this page.

  • Tuesday, November 20, Planning Board: Kendall Square Plan and Recommendations. Planning Board meetings begin at 7:00 PM. For detailed agenda for the date, please check here.

October 30, 2012

This week's C2 meetings:

  • Thursday, November 1, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- Cambridge College, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue (1st floor meeting room) -- Topics: Public Places Workshop (including open space & covered/enclosed gathering spaces)
  • Saturday, November 3, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM -- Cambridge College, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue (1st floor meeting room) -- Topics: Built Form Workshop (including use, FAR, height, urban design)

Future meetings to finalize recommendations will be held on November 7 and November 28 (with possible additional dates November 13 &15) -- details below.

October 25, 2012

Implementation of Kendall Square non-zoning recommendations has begun with the Eastern Cambridge/Kendall Square Open Space Study.

October 18, 2012

Upcoming C2 meetings:

  • Wednesday, October 24, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 -- Topics: Discussion of key issues/questions
  • Thursday, October 25, 6:00 - 7:30 PM -- Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue -- Topics: Housing and Smart Growth; Guest Speaker: Barry Bluestone, Director, Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University
  • Thursday, November 1, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- Location TBD -- Topics: Public Places Workshop (including open space & covered/enclosed gathering spaces
  • Saturday, November 3, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM -- Location TBD -- Topics: Built Form Workshop (including use, FAR, height, urban design)
  • Wednesday, November 7, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Sullivan Chamber -- Topics: Consolidate & Finalize Recommendations
  • Wednesday, November 28, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue -- Topics: Finalize Recommendations

Upcoming K2 meetings:

The Kendall Square plan and zoning recommendations are under review and consideration at the Planning Board. Presentations and handouts from Planning Board meetings are available in the 'Presentations: Other' tab on this page.

  • Tuesday, November 20, Planning Board: Kendall Square Plan and Recommendations. Planning Board meetings begin at 7:00 PM. For detailed agenda for the date, please check here.

October 2, 2012

The Committee is collaborating on a vision, goals, and recommendations document. This evolving working document can be viewed here.

October 1, 2012

Upcoming C2 meetings:

  • Wednesday, October 17, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 -- Topics: Sustainability; Transportation Part 3
  • Wednesday, October 24, 6:00 – 8:30 PM -- Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 -- Topics: Recommendations discussion; Urban Design Guidelines

Upcoming K2 meetings:

The Kendall Square plan and zoning recommendations are under review and consideration at the Planning Board. Presentations and handouts from Planning Board meetings are available in the 'Presentations: Other' tab on this page.

  • Tuesday, November 20, Planning Board: Kendall Square Plan and Recommendations. Planning Board meetings begin at 7:00 PM. For detailed agenda for the date, please check here.

Other meetings of interest

  • Tuesday, October 2, 8:00 PM -- Planning Board: Yanow Petition public hearing -- City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway
  • Wednesday, October 3, 4:30 PM -- Ordinance Committee: Yanow Petition public hearing -- Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue

September 13, 2012

The Kendall Square plan and zoning recommendations are under review and consideration at the Planning Board. Presentations and handouts from Planning Board meetings are available in the 'Presentations: Other' tab on this page.

Upcoming C2 meetings:

  • Thursday, September 27, 6:00 - 8:30 PM -- Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 -- Topic: Preliminary recommendations -- Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue

Other meetings of interest

  • Tuesday, October 2, 8:00 PM -- Planning Board: Yanow Petition public hearing -- City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway
  • Wednesday, October 3, 4:30 PM -- Ordinance Committee: Yanow Petition public hearing -- Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue

August 22, 2012

The Kendall Square plan and zoning recommendations are under review and consideration at the Planning Board. Presentations and handouts from Planning Board meetings are available in the 'Presentations: Other' tab on this page.

Upcoming C2 meetings:

  • Wednesday, September 12, 6:00 - 8:30 PM -- Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 -- Topic: Transportation (Part 2) -- Cambridge Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue
  • Thursday, September 27, 6:00 - 8:30 PM -- Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 -- Topic: Preliminary recommendations -- Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue

Other meetings of interest:

  • Tuesday, September 4, 7:00 PM -- Planning Board: Kendall Square zoning discussion -- City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway
  • Tuesday, September 11, 7:00 PM -- Planning Board: K2 discussion of 3rd/Main/Broadway intersection and Main St plans will be the final agenda item -- City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway

July 12, 2012

Join us for the first of the Central Square Open House Charrettes at the Main Library in mid-Cambridge. You can also hear the presentation at the Area Four Coalition meeting tonight.

If you will be unable to attend the outreach series, you can review the presentation and send us your comments via mail or email. Download a comment sheet here.

July 5, 2012

Kendall Square

  • Tuesday, July 10, 7:00 PM -- Planning Board: Kendall Square Plan and Recommendations.

Central Square

June 22, 2012

Join us for a series of Central Square neighborhood outreach meetings. Light refreshments will be served. All ages are welcome and we encourage you to bring a neighbor or a friend.

Please join the discussion - your voice is essential to the success of Central Square!

Download the flyer.

Central Square Advisory Committee: 2011/2012

  • Wednesday, July 11, 6:00 - 8:30 PM -- Advisory Committee Meeting -- Topics: Forest City rezoning discussion; Transportation Analysis

June 5, 2012

K2C2 June Committee meetings are as follows:

  • Thursday, June 14, 8:00 - 10:00 AM -- Kendall Square Advisory Committee: 2011 final meeting -- Topic: Final Recommendations (Zoning & Urban Design).
  • Wednesday, June 20, 6:00 - 8:30 PM -- Central Square Advisory Committee: 2011/2012 -- Topic: Potential strategies for desired goals -- middle income housing; retail affordability; public space.

Other relevant meetings/events:

  • Wednesday, June 13, 2:00 - 4:00 PM -- Cambridge Redevelopment Authority public informational meeting -- Topic: Google project discussion and update.
  • Tuesday, June 19, 8:00 PM -- Forest City Rezoning hearing at Planning Board
  • Wednesday, June 27, 4:00 PM -- Forest City Rezoning hearing at City Council Ordinance Committee

May 25, 2012

The City Council is holding a Roundtable discussion on K2C2 on Wednesday, May 30, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM at City Hall, Sullivan Chamber.

May 17, 2012

The Central Square Walking Tour is scheduled for Thursday, May 24, 5:30 - 7:30 PM. Please meet us at 5:15 PM in front of 1369 Coffee House in Central Square.

May 1, 2012

K2C2 May Committee meetings are as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 9, 6:00 - 8:30 PM -- Central Square Advisory Committee: 2011 -- Topic: Development Economics
  • Wednesday, May 24, 5:30 - 7:30 PM -- Central Square Walk -- Meet outside 1369 Coffee House, 757 Massachusetts Ave
  • Thursday, May 17, 8:00 - 10:00 AM -- Kendall Square Advisory Committee: 2011 -- Topic: Final Recommendations (Zoning & Urban Design)

Other relevant May meetings/events:

  • Thursday, May 3, 4:00 - 7:00 PM -- K2C2 at the HackKendall event at Venture Cafe along with several other groups thinking about innovation districts, in general, and Kendall Square, in particular.
  • Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 4:00 PM -- Ordinance Committee Hearing on the Forest City rezoning petition
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM -- City Council Roundtable to complete the K2C2 update from Goody Clancy and CDD staff

April 30, 2012

K2C2 update at Planning Board on Tuesday, May 1. The Forest City rezoning hearing begins at 7:20, followed by the K2C2 update and MIT Kendall Square update. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd floor

April 27, 2012

This was retail week at K2C2, and we had retail meetings with both the Kendall square and Central Square Committees. The meeting presentations are available in the Presentation tabs.

Next week, we will be at the Planning Board with a K2C2 update on Tuesday, May 1. The Board's agenda that evening has other items relevant to the study area: beginning with the public hearing for the Forest City rezoning petition at 7:20 PM and ending with an update from MIT on their Kendall Square plans.

April 3, 2012

K2C2 Public meetings are coming up:

  • Tuesday, April 10, 6:00 - 9:00 PM -- Kendall Square Public Meeting
  • Wednesday, April 11, 6:00 - 9:00 PM -- Central Square Public Meeting

March 2012

Staff and consultants are now working with the Kendall Square Advisory Committee: 2011 and Central Square Advisory Committee: 2011 on the K2C2 project. Phase I, focusing on the Kendall Square/Transition Area, began in April 2011 and Phase II, focusing on Central Square/Transition, began in November 2011. To hear from the broader community, a Kendall Square public meeting was held on June 21, 2011 and a Central Square charrette was held on June 9, 2011.

Kendall Square

Tuesday, April 10, 6:00 P. M. to 9:00 P.M.; Kendall Square Mariti. Share the public meeting flyer with your friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Download the Flyer Here.

Central Square

Wednesday, April 11, 6:00 - 9:00 P.M.; Central Square Senior Center. Share the public meeting flyer with your friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Download the Flyer Here.

The K2 and C2 Advisory Committees have concluded their work and are no further meetings are scheduled. The Kendall Square and Central Square recommendations are under consideration at the Planning Board and CDD staff are currently working with the Board to craft zoning language based on the K2 and C2 committee recommendations.

The Forest City/Millennium petition was enacted by the City Council on Feb 25, 2013. Additionally, the MIT zoning petition is under consideration at the City Council . For hearing information and Planning Board's recommendation on this petition, please visit the City Council Hearing Schedule and CDD Zoning Amendments page. 

Over the last few decades, Central Square has become an ever more important center for the four neighborhoods that surround it, as well as for Cambridge as a whole. At the same time, Kendall Square has been transformed from a former industrial area to a world-renowned center for biotech and high tech research.

Central Square

Central Square is a vibrant retail and office district directly adjacent to the Cambridgeport, Area 4, Riverside and Mid-Cambridge neighborhoods. The district is at the northwest end of the MIT campus and also abuts University Park.

In addition to neighborhood-serving shopping, Central Square features a number of food and entertainment venues that attract residents and visitors regionally, and at its core physically carries forward a rich legacy of buildings reflecting its past.

The Square has been the focus of several infrastructure projects and planning studies over the last 30 years.

Kendall Square

Despite having a number of new developments in recent years, including several research and academic facilities on the MIT campus and improved access to the Charles River, and having begun to create multiple nodes of activity, Kendall Square has no defined center. What Kendall Square does have is a large daytime population, an emerging residential population supported by a cluster of biotech and high-tech businesses, and a number of large property owners who are willing to come together to develop a common vision.

Kendall Square has the capacity to absorb new development without the constraints that would have resulted from a large inventory of historic buildings. Infrastructure improvements have occurred in some, but not all, areas over the past twenty years.

South of Main

The area where Main Street intersects with Massachusetts Avenue, known as Lafayette Square, and its urban context, including the area south of Main Street east of Lafayette Square, is referred to as the Transition Area/ South of Main.

What Kendall and Central Squares have in common is excellent access to public transportation, nearby density in both student and residential neighborhoods, and proximity to MIT. The character of development in the area South of Main can help make it easier for users to flow from one Square to the other, with an increasingly interesting and active urban streetscape and retail environment.

The assets existing today in Kendall and Central Squares should continue to support future growth in each area. The Squares each have significant growth potential and each could benefit from better connections to the other. There are several new and proposed projects that have the potential to help activate the area South of Main, including the growing presence of Novartis and the planned new buildings sponsored by Forest City Enterprises.

  • Central Square Middle East Block at Night

    Middle East Night Club, Massachusetts Ave

  • Lafayette Square during the day
  • Voltage Coffee Storefront

Community Development Department
344 Broadway
Cambridge MA 02139

For information on the K2C2 Planning Study, please contact Iram Farooq at ifarooq@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-4606.

For information on Kendall Square infrastructure, please contact Kathy Watkins at kwatkins@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-4751. The Department of Public Works TTY line is 617/349-4805.

To remove your contact information from the K2C2 Mailing List please send an email to tjoyce@cambridgema.gov. Please include the contact name(s) and email address you want removed from the mailing list.