Mixed-Use Housing at a Catalyst for Neighborhood Revitalization

Abstract

Dudley Square was once a bustling hub of transit and economic activity within Greater Boston. However, recent decades have seen a decline in the vibrancy of the area, as the dense neighborhood center began to empty out and lose relevance. Today there is a promising opportunity for Dudley Square to re-establish itself as a true hub and a gathering place for the entire Roxbury Community. This opportunity is glimpsed in the cityÍs plans for a new civic center in the location of the historic Ferdinand building. However, this project is not enough. In order to build upon this planned growth, the area needs to further engage and empower community members. æA new proposal seeks to turn the blocks in proximity to the Ferdinand into a true neighborhood center through inviting public spaces, lively cultural and commercial areas, and most importantly, a new mixed-use housing development. This development will increase density, create appropriately scaled and inviting public venues, and bring more residents into the heart of the neighborhood. ææThe housing project, through a sustainable approach to wooden construction in an urban environment, will embody evocative forms while also remaining pragmatic and economical as dictated by the needs of the neighborhood. Its design will become a symbol for the resurging community, serving both as a reminder of the diverse and vibrant cultural past as well a symbol of the desire for a sustainable future.