Street Talks


StreetTalks are LivableStreets’ discussion series. They are forums for learning, a time to discuss important issues and a way for us to gain feedback from our constituents. 

Upcoming StreetTalks

6th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1


Save the date for this year's edition of our annual 10-in-1 StreetTalk! 

Event Details
December 7, 2016, 6-8pm
@ Old South Meeting House
310 Washington St, Boston

More information to come!

Previous StreetTalks

StreetTalk: Making Buses Sexy (October 2016)

Better_Bus.jpgStreetTalks are back and we are talking about buses! Yep, buses. LivableStreets believes that Metro Boston's buses can and should be better. Imagine saving two weeks on your commute every year . . . Dedicated bus lanes, signal priority, and other techniques that prioritize people on buses are essential ingredients to making this a reality. 

Join us for a conversation with transportation experts on improvements already being planned for our bus system as well as an exploration of bus innovations being implemented globally. 


DBS-head.jpgDavid Block-Schachter is the Chief Technology Officer at the MBTA and focuses his efforts on applications that improve the customer experience for all MBTA riders.  He was formerly the Chief Scientist and CTO at Bridj, and has held positions as the Director of Research and Analysis at the MBTA and as a Research Associate at MIT.  David has a Bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a Master of City Planning, a Master of Science in Transportation and a Ph.D from MIT.  He is a regular rider of the 69 bus, and the Green and Red Lines. 

Mary_headshot.jpgMary Skelton Roberts is a senior program officer for Climate, focusing on transportation and land use—two critical levers for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Prior to joining Barr in 2009, Mary was a consultant specializing in problem-solving and dispute resolution of complex corporate, environmental, and public-policy issues. She currently serves on the national boards of Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. Mary holds a master’s degree in city planning with concentrations in consensus-building and environmental policy and planning from MIT. She also holds mediation and facilitation accreditations from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and from the Center for Dispute Resolution in London, England, where she served as lead faculty. 

Stacy_Thompson-headshot-Feb2015.pngStacy Thompson (moderator) is the Executive Director of LivableStreets Alliance, a non-profit advocating for innovative and equitable transportation solutions that provide safe, affordable and enjoyable options benefiting all people in Metro Boston. Stacy oversees LivableStreets’ programs including Vision Zero and the Emerald Network and is responsible for ensuring overall programatic and operational excellence for the organization. Previously Stacy served as the Director of Events & Sponsorship at Ceres, where she developed the strategy focus, content, and communications for Ceres' major events. She also worked for the Office for Peace and Justice at the Archdiocese of Chicago where she collaborated with community partners to organize educational forums and supported a broad array of social justice initiatives. She has a Master of Arts in Social Justice from Loyola University, Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Education from Saint Vincent College. 

TibbitsNutt_Headshot.pngMonica G. Tibbits-Nutt, AICP, LEED AP BD+C is the Executive Director of the 128 Business Council. Working in regional planning and transportation, Monica’s areas of specialty are transportation planning, urban design, and sustainability. Her work experience includes public sector transit planning at both the MBTA Advisory Board and as Executive Director of TransitWorks. She received a Masters of City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University in Columbus and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Southern Indiana. She serves on the MassDOT Board of Directors and the Fiscal and Management Control Board that currently oversees the MBTA. She is also a gubernatorial appointee to the Board of the MAPC serving on the Legislative Committee, as well as former Vice-Chair of the RTAC. She is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design & Construction with the U.S. Green Building Council.

5th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1 

10-in-1_Alice.jpgIn December 2015, over 200 advocates, city officials, policy makers and constituents packed Old South Meeting House for our annual 10-in-1 StreetTalk event.  

Building on the Meeting House’s long tradition of hosting spirited, thought-provoking discussions, the event featured 10 short form presentations all designed to highlight innovative ideas to transform our streets. From making buses sexy to treating streets like coloring books to make them safer, each speaker shared examples of how they are actively working to transform the streets of Metro Boston, making our city a better place to live, work and play.

A special highlight from the evening was the release of the City of Boston's Vision Zero Action Plan, announced by Mayor Walsh via video message. Members of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition, including LivableStreets, provided feedback and recommendations to the city's task force during the planning process. 

Featured 10-in-1 Speakers (click title to view presentation): 

Alice Brown, Project Manager, GoBoston 2030:

GoBoston 2030: Framing new transportation conversations

Kris Carter, Co-Chair, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics: 

Passive data, active science: An experimental approach to improving the operation of our streets

Mark Chase, Urban Transportation Consultant, Tufts University:

Neighborways: Creating low stress street networks for kids & kids at heart

Jackie Douglas, Executive Director, LivableStreets Alliance:

Making Buses Sexy

Scott Hamwey, Manager of Long-range Planning, MassDOT: 

Incorporating today's emerging trends into a 2040 strategic vision for the MBTA

Tommy Hayes, Transportation Policy Manager, Lyft:

Safe Streets for All: How Lyft can help cities advance the goals of Vision Zero

Matt Lawlor, Partner, Robinson + Cole:

Forging a New Path: Roslindale Gateway to the Arboretum

Russ Lopez, Senior Research Associate, Dukakis Center for Urban and Metropolitan Policy @Northeastern University:

How to stop a highway and accomplish other impossible feats of strength

Connor McKay, Data Scientist, City of Boston, Citywide Analytics Team: 

Passive data, active science: An experimental approach to improving the operation of our streets

Ari Ofsevit, Lead Advocate, I-90:

Rethinking the 1-90 Allston Interchange: A vision for what’s possible

Vivian Ortiz, Project Coordinator for Mattapan, Let's Get Healthy, Boston! Initiative:

Invisible to Whom? Age, race and place take a ride


 StreetTalk: Connecting Our Urban Greenways 

In November 2015, we invited a panel of experts to grapple with some big questions while engaging audience members in discussion around the Emerald Network—a vision for 200 miles of seamless shared-use paths across the Metro Boston area. With more than 100 miles of the network already built, and 30 miles in design or construction—the remaining 70 miles is a significant, but not impossible gap to fill. What role could the Emerald Network play in not only increasing mobility options for people in the Metro area, but also tackling challenges like economic development, equity, climate change and public health in urban Boston? How do we build it? What are the challenges? How do we get there? By proactively gathering people at all levels of advocacy and expertise, our StreetTalks created an important forum for learning, sharing and discussion. 

Featured Speakers: 

Julia Africa  MdesS, MAOM, Program Leader: Nature, Health, & the Built Environment, Harvard School of Public Health

Cheri Ruane  RLA, Vice President, Spurr Design Studio, President, BSLA

Matt Kiefer  Co-Founder of Emerald Network Initiative, Land Use Attorney, Goulston and Storrs







For information on how to support and sponsor one of these StreetTalks go to our Sponsors Page!