North Cambridge - Neighborhood 11

Trolley Square Park

North Cambridge, located at the northernmost part of the city bordering Somerville, Arlington, and Belmont, is a neighborhood of over eleven thousand residents living in housing types ranging from single and multi-family homes to large apartment buildings. Porter Square, at the southeastern corner of the neighborhood, is a main commercial and transit center with Red Line, commuter rail and bus stations. The main avenue through North Cambridge is Massachusetts Avenue, which extends from Porter Square to the Arlington border and features a variety of retail, office, and residential uses and types. At the western end of the neighborhood is the MBTA Alewife Red Line station and an adjacent office/industrial area along Cambridgepark Drive.

North Cambridge Neighborhood Map  

North Cambridge 3D Map

North Cambridge Statistical Profile

The City Council did not act on the Trolley Square map change zoning petition which expired on January 15, 2013. Community Development Department staff will continue to work on zoning language based on community input and it is anticipated that a modified petition will be filed in the future.

The North Massachusetts Avenue Zoning Petition, was passed by a 9-0 vote of the City Council at their meeting on July 30, 2012.

In April 2012, the North Massachusetts Avenue zoning petition, which was created as part of the North Massachusetts Avenue Improvement Study, was submitted to the City Council. There were public hearings at the Planning Board on May 15th, 2012 and July 17th, 2012 and at the Ordinance Committee on June 6th, 2012 and June 28th, 2012. The Planning Board recommended the adoption of the zoning changes in the petition.

For more information or to be included in future mailings please contact Taha Jennings at 617-349-4603 or by email at

The objective of the neighborhood studies and subsequent study updates is to identify planning issues in the neighborhood and articulate recommendations to address those issues. The study recommendations are the key part of the neighborhood study and updates. The recommendations are used not only to guide neighborhood planning efforts for the Community Development Department but in many cases are included as work items for other City departments when appropriate.

2008 North Cambridge Neighborhood Study Update

The North Cambridge Neighborhood Study Update, Summary, Recommendations, and Action Plan was published in December 2008 and includes updated demographic information; describes new programs, policies, and services of the City; summarizes the progress made on the recommendations of the original study; and establishes new planning recommendations for the neighborhood based on public comments.

There was an initial public meeting on March 31st, 2007 at which city staff presented information on the progress made on the original North Cambridge Neighborhood Study recommendations, and residents, through small group discussions, spoke about current planning issues and concerns in the neighborhood regarding land use and zoning, transportation, housing, economic development, and open space.

A second public meeting was held on June 12, 2007 to discuss new recommendations for North Cambridge based on public comments from the first public meeting regarding land use and zoning, transportation, housing, economic development, and open space, how these recommendations will be used and implemented, and to further discuss the next steps in the process.

North Cambridge Neighborhood Study

The original North Cambridge Neighborhood Study was conducted from 1988 to 1989 and issued in 1990

To request a printed copies of any neighborhood study please call Tracey Joyce in the Community Planning Division at 617/349-4650 or email her at

  • Massachusetts Avenue
  • Bergin Park
  • Jerry's Pit
  • retail on Massachusetts Avenue
  • Russell Field
  • Sheridan Square
  • Trolley Square Park
  • Trolley Square
  • Alewife Brook Reservation (DCR) - Cambridgepark Drive
  • Gibbons Park - Columbus Avenue
  • Russell Field - Clifton Street
  • Linear Park - Russell Field to Davis Square
  • Reverend Williams Park - Dudley Street
  • Clarendon Avenue Playground - Massachusetts Avenue
  • Rindge Field - Pemberton Street
  • Bergin Park - Pemberton Street
  • Trolley Square Park - Massachusetts Avenue

Neighborhood Planner: Gary Chan,, 617/349-4603