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Central Square Advisory Committee Call for Members

Cambridge City Manager Yi-An Huang is seeking volunteers to serve on the Central Square Advisory Committee.

What is the Central Square Advisory Committee?

The Central Square Advisory Committee (CSAC) is a group of community members with direct relationships to Central Square in Cambridge who review development proposals and planning projects that impact Central Square. The Central Square Overlay District (Article 20.3 of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance) established the Advisory Committee. CSAC provides an additional level of review for development projects in Central Square.

There are 9 members of the committee.

  • One member must have recognized qualifications as an architect or a landscape architect;
  • Four members are part of the business community in Central Square with diverse representation from property owners, small- and large-scale merchants and office tenants;
  • Four members are residents of the four abutting Cambridge neighborhoods (The Port, Mid-Cambridge, Riverside and Cambridgeport).

What is the role of the Central Square Advisory Committee?

The Central Square Advisory Committee comments on development proposals in Central Square. These proposals include new buildings and new uses for existing buildings. The Committee also gives feedback to the City of Cambridge on public projects, such as parks, streets, and transportation.

What kind of skills and abilities do you need to effectively serve on the Central Square Advisory Committee?

It is important to have an interest and enthusiasm for learning about urban development and community engagement, and how they shape the Central Square community. Successful members of the Committee will be able to:

  • Engage with many aspects of urban planning, including urban design, transportation, housing, infrastructure planning, public space, community engagement and others;
  • Listen to people from diverse backgrounds and consider different points of view;
  • Collaborate and build consensus with a group of people;
  • Consider how projects might contribute the quality of life in Central Square.

Additionally, the City of Cambridge is committed to advancing a culture of antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. All CSAC 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.

Who can apply to serve on the Central Square Advisory Committee?

Currently, there are two vacancies to be filled. People who meet one of the following qualifications are sought for this committee at this moment:

  • One member having recognized qualifications as an architect or landscape architect who shall also serve as chair of the Committee.
  • Owners of commercial property within the Central Square Overlay District.
  • Business owners who run a business located in the Central Square Overlay District.
  • Tenants who rent offices in the Central Square Overlay District.

When does the Central Square Advisory Committee meet? How much of a time commitment is needed to serve on this Committee?

The Committee meets as needed on the first Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. Meetings are currently being held remotely through Zoom, and generally last approximately two hours. At some future point, in-person meetings may resume. Meeting materials about development projects will be provided at least five days prior to the meeting date for the committee members to familiarize themselves with the projects. Members usually spend an hour reviewing materials before meetings.

How can I Apply to Serve on the Central Square Advisory Committee?

Applications to serve on this Committee can be submitted using the City of Cambridge’s online application system at Cambridgema.gov/apply. With your application, include a letter explaining why you are interested in volunteering on the Committee and a description of your relevant experience, background, and unique perspective on Central Square. The City welcomes applicants with a diversity of experiences and perspectives, and values those with a desire to positively shape the future of Central Square. Application deadline is Monday, June 26, 2023.

For more information about the Committee, contact Mason Wells at mwells@cambridgema.gov or visit the Central Square Advisory Committee webpage.


Map of the Central Square Overlay District 

Central Square Overlay District Zoning 

Instructions for how to apply for the Central Square Advisory Committee

Page was posted on 5/24/2023 10:03 AM
Page was last modified on 7/24/2023 11:19 PM
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