A shared vision for the future of Cambridge
2016 - 2019
The City of Cambridge
Interboro (Tobias Armborst, Daniel D’Oca, Georgeen Theodore, Cory Berg, Abigail Brown, Katherine Isidro, Odili Onochie, Eka Pramuditha, Andrew Wald), Utile
Street Team: Shameen Akhtar, Alice Armstrong, Sourav Biswas, Sean Connelly, Oliver Julian Curtis, Leandro Couto de Almeida, Clara Fraden, Aubrey Germ, Marco Gorini, Emma Freeman Goode, Allison Green, Carolyn Grossman, Anna Katinka Hakuta, Elan Horn, Miriam Keller, Elliot Kilham, Elaine Kim, Theodore Krolik, Sarah Leisten, Christoper Liao, Megan Mahala, Cara Mitchell, Paige Peltzer, Demir Purisic, Alex Rawding, Anne Ryan, Raquel Saenz, Jill Schmidt, David Schoen, Hanna Schutt, Timothy Shugrue, Chella Strong, Jason Torrey, Janice Tung, Annie White, Eric Williams
Envision Cambridge was a three-year public process with the City of Cambridge, MA to develop a comprehensive plan for a livable, sustainable, and equitable city. Interboro played a vital role in developing a shared vision for the city’s future by gathering and synthesizing inputs from those who live, work, study, and play in Cambridge. The Envision Cambridge plan includes recommendations on a broad range of topics such as housing, mobility, economic opportunity, urban form, and climate and the environment.
It can be a challenge to solicit input from people who don’t have the time or the inclination to attend a formal public meeting. For Envision Cambridge, Interboro developed a variety of tools to make it fun, quick, and easy for people to participate in comprehensive city planning processes. Our engagement tools included:
- a mobile engagement station that brought participatory mapping to the sidewalks of Cambridge
- a citywide quarterly newspaper that illuminated planning goals while celebrating the diverse people and places of Cambridge
- two different hands-on planning games to help citizens learn about and explore tricky planning concepts
- museum-quality public exhibitions of the plan
Interboro’s priority was to ensure that the comprehensive planning process was as open and inclusive as possible, from the early research and goal-setting stages to the unveiling of the final product. We used our creative engagement tools to foster a constant dialogue between the community, planning team, and the City.
Mobile Engagement Station
How can we make sure that we solicit the input of people who might not have the time or the inclination to attend a formal public meeting? A large part of our engagement effort will consist of “person-on-the-street” intercept surveys that make it fun and easy for people to participate in the comprehensive planning process. Towards this goal, we created a mobile engagement station that allows people to identify what they like and don’t like about Cambridge and share their hopes for the future. The Station has three layers. The top layer is a 3D model of Cambridge showing all the buildings in the city. The second layer is a map of Cambridge color-coded by land use and showing all streets and building footprints. The last layer consists of stools in the shape of each of Cambridge’s neighborhoods.
The Envision Cambridge Mobile Engagement Station is a large interactive model of Cambridge that gives Cambridge residents and workers the opportunity to identify what they like and don’t like about Cambridge and share their hopes for the future.
The station has three layers:
1. The top layer is a 3D model of Cambridge showing all the buildings in the city.
2. The second layer is a map of Cambridge, color-coded by land use and showing all streets and building footprints.
3. The third layer consists of stools in the shape of each of Cambridge’s neighborhoods.
An Envision Cambridge “Street Team” will be taking the Station to different locations around Cambridge. Look out for it in your neighborhood! When the Station is not in use, it stays at City Hall, where it will be used to visualize some of our findings.
Envision Cambridge Newsletter
The Envision Cambridge Newsletter is a quarterly publication. Mimicking the everyday aesthetic of weekly community newspapers, its intention is to capture interesting aspects of the city and portray Cambridge residents’ aspirations in a unique, fun, and engaging format. The features highlight lesser known aspects of the city while shedding light on under-represented communities By distributing copies of each issue across the city, the publication complements other outreach efforts--including models, panels, and meetings--to form an important link between the community’s aspirations and the agenda for the citywide plan.
Front page of the Envision Cambridge Newsletter
The Zoning Zone spread from the Envision Cambridge Newsletter
City Lens spread from the Envision Cambridge Newsletter
Games and hands-on activities are a great way to make planning and design concepts seem more fun and accessible, rather than complicated and impenetrable. For Envision Cambridge, Interboro designed a series of tabletop games to help citizen planners of all ages understand zoning and land-use, floor area ratios, and right-of-way design. The games toured the city and made a big splash at community events across Cambridge.
The Corridor Game
The Right of Way Game
Final Plan Exhibirion
The exhibition showcases the final goals of the citywide plan and the engagement tools we designed to gather input during the planning process. It was on display at Cambridge City Hall and the Cambridge Public Library during January 2019.
Envision Cambridge exhibition at the GSD.