Every year, spring unlocks a rush of activity in Greater Boston. People linger in parks and on the streets, connecting with friends and neighbors. As we launch our inaugural issue of the Emerald Network newsletter, evidence to support our vision is everywhere:
Public spaces expand our sense of well-being and overall quality of life.
Boston is growing rapidly, with population and job-growth both on the rise. At a time when our city should be bursting at the seams, we will take a collective breath and connect by new means: greenways. The Emerald Network creates safe, non-motorized pathways that mimic common routes that many people already travel. As the network opens connections to transit, jobs, and open space, it has the power to prompt habitual changes in how we get around.
34% of Boston residents do not own a car. 42% of Boston residents want mobility and open space improvements in their neighborhood.
Boston’s legacy of greenway planning has provided a solid backbone for many Bostonians to play, recreate, shop, commute, and socialize. With the Emerald Network we have elevated that vision to a 200-mile network of seamless greenway paths in Boston and beyond. The Network will play a pivotal role in shaping Boston’s future by addressing gaps in the transit system by providing safe access to expanded mobility options.
1. Complete several key greenway links: Recently completed greenway links such as Greenough Greenway, Neponset Trail (Phase 2, Mattapan to Milton), and the Route 9 crossing in Brookline are connecting more people to transit, jobs, and open space.
2. Influence long-term planning efforts: Released in March 2017, the Go Boston 2030 Vision & Action Plan incorporates key elements of our vision and includes three of our Greenway Partner projects, including Roxbury to Fenway, Arboretum to Roslindale, and the American Legion Parkway. The plan also seeks to improve Columbia Road so that it better serves the surrounding community and completes Olmsted’s vision of the Emerald Necklace, and complete a Southwest Corridor extension to Back Bay and MGH via Charles St.
3. Create a national model for a network: The Emerald Network is part of a growing national movement to reshape urban mobility. As an initiative that spans city boundaries and is more than half-way built, the Emerald Network is leading the way as a national model for a greenway network. The Emerald Network addresses many of our most pressing concerns, including economic development, climate change resilience, and public health. The Emerald Network plays a pivotal role in connecting environmental justice and high priority communities to opportunities, elevating equity and quality of life for everyone.
As a valuable member of our network, you play a key role in helping us grow the Emerald Network vision. This quarterly newsletter will be dedicated to keeping you updated on how to stay involved and take action throughout the year. The newsletter will also include articles by local thought-leaders, providing relevant content you can easily share with your community. It’s an important step in communicating our goals and expanding our reach, and we want you on the front lines!
You can help us today by taking one or more of the following actions:
Spread the Word: share this page with 3 friends.
Advocate for the Emerald Network: view our map and speak up about important Emerald Network connections at public meetings and with decision makers.
Volunteer with the Emerald Network.
Contribute to our work by making a donation.
Greenways looks good on you, Boston!
The Emerald Network Executive Committee