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Central Square Rezoning

Image of people placing items on Study Area Map

The Community Development Department (CDD) is leading a community process to update zoning for Central Square. Zoning is the set of rules that control the allowed shape, density, and use of the property. Guided by community goals identified in prior planning efforts, the recommendations will focus on:

  • Increasing housing
  • Creating public spaces to build community
  • Supporting our diverse retail, cultural, and non-profit community

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The Latest

Community Meeting #2     July 17th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Please join us for the second of three community meetings to discuss potential updates to the zoning for Central Square. At this meeting, the project team will:

  • Explain how zoning tools can influence a building's shape, size, and uses
  • Refine the project focus area and explore variations within that area
  • Review a range of ideas about possible zoning recommendations
  • Discuss how different priorities and trade-offs might affect outcomes

The presentation will be followed by a robust discussion and listening session. We encourage all interested community members to join us to share your ideas, thoughts, and feedback!

This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Please register in advance for this meeting (registration is required for attendance):

Register Here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


The Community Engagement Plan is Now Available!

The Community Engagement Plan for the Central Square Rezoning Project is now available for review in the link below. This document:

  • Describes the engagement goals and how we will measure success
  • Outlines the different community engagement tools that we will use
  • Provides and overview of the process and a timeline of when different events are expected to take place

This is a "living document" that will be changed and updated throughout the process based on community input. If you have questions, comments, or ideas, please reach out to Brian Gregory at bgregory@cambridgema.gov.

Access the Engagement Plan Here


Community Engagement

An inclusive and wide-reaching engagement program offers many ways to have your voice heard.

  • Public meetings: Three public meetings will be held with the goals of gathering community insights, listening to ideas and concerns, and providing information and updates about the project and its progress. Here is the planned meeting schedule:
  • Community Meeting #1 May 30, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Introduce the process, recap community goals, frame key issues,                                                                             review C2 recommendations, and ask for feedback
  • Community Meeting #2  July 17, 6:00pm - 7:30pm Review zoning tools, refine the focus area, explore different zoning                                                                             scenarios, and discuss priorities and trade-offs
  • Community Meeting #3   Sept 12, 6:00pm - 7:30pm Review draft recommendations and next steps
  • Focus Groups: Smaller meetings with community members will offer additional opportunities for public feedback.
  • Online Engagement: To reach people who cannot always attend in-person meetings, an online mapping platform will allow community members to provide feedback and insights on specific locations.
  • Community Engagement Team (CET): CDD’s CET team works to reach underserved Cambridge residents through focus groups and surveys. The CET’s outreach workers are community members from the American-born Black, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Ethiopian, Haitian, Somali, Spanish-speaking, and Arabic-speaking communities.

More information can be found in the project's Engagement Plan:

Access the Engagement Plan Here

Working Project Schedule

The graphic schedule highlights key stages and timelines for the project. See the schedule larger here.

Central Square Rezoning Project Schedule


Project Study Area

The study area map highlights the initial area of focus for this project. This boundary may change based on community and stakeholder feedback throughout the project. See the Map larger here.

Draft Area of Focus for Central Square Rezoning

Meeting Materials

Community Meeting #1,05/30/2024

> Meeting Recording

> Meeting Chat

> Meeting Presentation

Key Documents and Resources

Neighborhood Plans

Central Square City Lots Study (2023)

Central Square Planning Study (K2C2) (2013)

Neighborhood Planning Initiative (ongoing)

The Port - Neighborhood Study Update (2010)

Cambridgeport - Neighborhood Study Update (2010

Mid-Cambridge - Neighborhood Study Update (2011)

River Street Reconstruction (ongoing)

Citywide Plans

Envision Cambridge (2019)

Parks and Open Space Plan (2022)

Resilient Cambridge Plan (2021)

Five-year Sidewalk and Street Reconstruction Plans (ongoing)

Ten-year Infrastructure Plans (ongoing)

Cambridge Bicycle Plan (2020)

Vision Zero Action Plan (2018)

Stay Informed

To stay up-to-date about this project and related community events and meetings, please sign up for our email list.

For additional information, please contact Brian Gregory at bgregory@cambridgema.gov

To stay informed about all things Cambridge, please sign up for the City of Cambridge Daily Update Newsletter.

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