Sunday, April 4, 2010

Improving Central Square through Neighbor Input

Spurred on by lots of recent and impending changes to Central Square--including store closings and news of restaurant openings--the City is tackling the oft-maligned Square's public image head on. The first step is to move through a process that encourages a broad public dialogue in the Square's problems, its strengths and its potential. That dialogue will next take the form of specific, topical conversations held over the next few weeks. Join any or all of the groups below (listed in order of meeting date):

Retail Mix & Vacancies
Discussing the need for more, affordable family apparel stores, better general merchandise stores, vacancies that fit needs, anchor tenants, potential math tutoring venue, a home-style, affordable diner, kid-friendly stores, especially bookstores, and business condos.
April 5th, 344 Broadway, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m, 4th Floor Conf. Room

Human Service Issues
This group will tackle some of the trickiest issues for the Square and ways to address homelessness, public intoxication and drug enforcement, discourage unruly hangout locations, and discourace panhandling, improve the physical ambiance, and to increase police facilities.
April 6th, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conf. Room

Public Relations & Marketing
This group focuses on perceptions of Central Square, including a potential marketing and branding campaign, better communications, creating more positive press and a clear identity for the Square.
April 12th, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., 344 Broadway, 3rd Floor Conf. Room

Event Programming
A group that will discuss expanding Central Square's capacity to host events, that support save, vibrant, lively nightlife venues, including ideas to extend stores onto sidewalks, produce more outdoor entertainment, and to take a look at long-term planning operational support.
April 13th, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conf. Room

Street and Sidewalk Appearance and Cleanliness
This group will tackle another of Central Square's most stubborn problems related to its often dingy appearance. Some initial topics include more bike racks and moped parking, improved facades and window art, incorporating the backstreets of the Square into the retail environment, examining recycling and public toilet options, pedestrian safety, lighting, and benches, and improving snow removal.
April 15th, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conf. Room

For more info on the broader effort by the City, contact Estella Johnson, the Director of Economic Development, at or at 617-349-4616.

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