Davis Square Public Realm Pilot

On April 27, 2015 we announced the relaunch of Somerville By Design in Davis Square. At the meeting we recapped the need for follow up on: the public realm, transportation through the square, cooperative management, infill development, and lodging. We are starting with public realm - other follow up will take place after the public realm in the summer/fall of 2016 followed by a plan draft.

Public Realm Pilot

The public realm in Davis Square has been part of the discussion from the beginning: sidewalks aren't wide enough, there are not enough places to sit down, and the community path doesn't connect--among other things. It's hard to wait for change. Streetscape and infrastructure projects cost millions of dollars and take years to design and construct. What we're interested in doing is implementing AND measuring the impacts on short term improvements. It might not seem like much but we can get feedback, see how people use new spaces, and use the information to inform future planning efforts including streetscape projects. Not to mention a plan section dedicated to the public realm.

We're working with Gehl Architects again (the firm behind the Public Space Public Life Study) to pilot a few projects in Davis Square (Seven Hills Park, Mike's Slip Lane, and Community Path) on June 12th and 13th. If you're interested in helping, please email us at planning@somervillema.gov

  • Lighting, seating, and food trucks at Seven Hills Park
  • Cafe seating in the closed slip lane next to Mike's and Blue Shirt Cafe
  • Visually connecting the community path with signage and balloons