Thursday, July 1, 2010

Auburndale II - A Potential Green Mini-Corridor

The heart of Auburndale Village was ripped up and exposed by the Mass Pike decades ago; yet the remnants along Auburn Street maintain a stubborn vibrancy against raw exposure to I-90. There is a great opportunity for development that restores a cozy village feel, provides an acoustic barrier and environmental health benefit, and, with excellent south-facing exposure, has excellent solar photovoltaic and green wall/green roof potential. Oh yeah, and provide Americans with Disabilities Act - accessible access (currently lacking!) to the Auburndale Commuter Rail Station, subsidized by the development. It utilizes currently unused and unvalued space, with existing building size and setback precedents that provide proof-of-concept. Here is an example of smart development that Riverside could take a page from.


Sean Roche said...


You're not ambitious enough.

Cover over the pike for a block and add multi-story residential at least part of which has retail on the first floor. That additional density, more than more stores, is what's going to make the retail district hop. Auburndale needs feet on the street -- as paying customers and as vitality that attracts others to the commercial district.

Plus, the space over the pike could include some green space that could help knit back together the separated neighborhoods.

Nathan Phillips said...

I'd love to cover over the pike from the Weston tolls to Newton corner, believe me. I guess that's more ambitious that what you're suggesting. I've been told that the height of buildings that would be needed to make this an economically viable proposition over any stretch of the pike would be of a domineering scale to make for a potential non-starter for the neighborhood, but I am more than ready to be convinced otherwise. A deck from Weston to Newton Corner supporting dense mixed use development of appropriate scale, integrated into a greenway, could make Newton whole again and become an attractive spine of the city.