Mass Ave Planning Study Working Group-Cambridge Common to Alewife Brook Parkway: Call for Members. Application Deadline Extended to 10-23-23.


9/7/20239 months ago

City Manager Yi-An Huang is seeking volunteers to serve on the Mass Ave Planning Study (MAPS) Working Group (Cambridge Common to Alewife Brook Parkway). The application deadline has been extended to Monday, October 23, 2023.

The Cambridge Community Development Department, in collaboration with other city departments and guided by the Cambridge community, will craft a vision for the future of Massachusetts Avenue, between Cambridge Common and Alewife Brook Parkway. The planning study will address topics of land use, urban design, housing, climate resiliency, small business support, mobility, and public space, as well as zoning recommendations for future development.

What is the MAPS Working Group (Cambridge Common to Alewife Brook Parkway)?
The MAPS working group will be an important participant in the planning study. Participants will be community members with direct relationships to Mass Ave; in particular, the section of Mass Ave from the Cambridge Common to Alewife Brook Parkway. The working group will:

  • Contribute to the planning process.
  • Review proposals.
  • Give recommendations.
  • Share feedback from the community.

What is the role of the MAPS Working Group?
Throughout the project, the working group will provide additional feedback and guidance to the planning team, which includes City staff and consultants. This will include feedback on:

  • Community outreach – Are we connecting with the right people?
  • Study area analysis – Have we examined all we need to so we can make informed decisions?
  • Project vision – What do we want this part of Mass Ave to look and feel like?
  • Planning recommendations – Do the future land use, zoning and design recommendations reflect the interests of the community and city priorities.

This working group will provide additional community input, building upon a robust community outreach process for the plan.

Who can apply to serve on the MAPS Working Group (Cambridge Common to Alewife Brook Parkway)?
The City is committed to advancing a culture of antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. All Working Group members must have the ability to work and interact effectively with individuals and groups with a variety of identities, cultures, backgrounds, and ideologies. Women, minorities, veterans, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. You do not need to have legal immigration status to volunteer on the working group.
You do not need to be a Cambridge resident to apply; however, we expect members to have a close affiliation with this section of Mass Ave. That includes business owners and employees, local residents, representatives of community-based organizations or institutions, property owners, and other community stakeholders. With your application, include a letter explaining why you are interested in volunteering on the working group and a description of your relevant experience, background, and unique perspective on this section of Mass Ave. The City welcomes applicants with a diversity of experiences and perspectives, and values those with a desire to positively shape the future of Mass Ave.

What kind of skills and abilities do you need to effectively serve on the MAPS Working Group (Cambridge Common to Alewife Brook Parkway)?
Members should be connected to the Mass Ave community. It is important to have an interest and enthusiasm for learning about urban planning and hearing from the community to shape the Mass Ave Planning Study. Successful members of the working group will be able to:

  • Listen to people from diverse backgrounds and consider different points of view.
  • Collaborate and build consensus with a group of people.
  • Consider how changes on Mass Ave might contribute to the quality of life in the area.
  • Engage with many aspects of urban planning, including urban design, transportation, housing, infrastructure planning, public space, community engagement and more.

How much of a time commitment is the MAPS Working Group?
The working group is expected to meet approximately six to eight times over the duration of the project (18 months). Before each meeting, the working group will receive preparation materials. Members are expected to spend approximately one hour reviewing the materials before each meeting if possible.
Meetings are expected to last approximately two hours and generally occur in the evenings. Most meetings will be hybrid (in-person with remote attendance via Zoom). However, there may be instances where in-person attendance, such as a study area tour, will be necessary. Virtual attendees must have their own device and access to the internet. Working group meetings and materials will be provided in English.

How Do I Apply? When is the Application Deadline?
Applications can be submitted to City Manager Yi-An Huang using the city’s online application system at Cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume, or an overview of relevant experience, can be submitted during the online application process. If you have questions about the application process or need assistance, please contact the City Manager's Office at 617-349-4300 or boardsandcommissions@cambridgema.gov

The application deadline has been extended to Monday, October 23, 2023.

Once you apply, what happens next?

After an initial review of applications, an interview process with CDD staff will be held with applicants that are best suited for the working group. Recommendations for members will be sent to the City Manager for approval.

For more information about the working group, contact Drew Kane at dkane@cambridgema.gov.