A blue condominium complex with green grass in the foreground, blue sky and an orange building in the background.

Public Event

15-Minute Neighborhoods: Repairing Regional Harms and Building Vibrant Neighborhoods for All


September 29, 2021

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM



Each of us deserves to live in a vibrant, healthy, neighborhood, where we can get to everyday destinations without too much hassle. These are places where you can pick up a library book on your walk to the local market, where children feel safe playing outside, and where welcoming public spaces encourage gathering and community events. At this forum, Boston Indicators and Massachusetts Housing Partnership Center for Housing Data will release a new research paper, 15-Minute Neighborhoods: Repairing Regional Harms and Building Vibrant Neighborhoods for All, which details a vision for building a regional network of mixed-use neighborhoods where all residents can reach their daily needs within a 15-minute walk from their home.

While Greater Boston has real potential to build more 15-minute neighborhoods, to date many policy decisions have moved us in the opposite direction. Transportation and land use policies have prioritized cars for generations, encouraging sprawl and separating residential from commercial uses. Many of these communities have been allowed to adopt single-family-exclusive zoning, contributing to persistent residential segregation by race and income.

The paper and the event will include a focused policy discussion about steps for advancing this vision at the state, regional and local levels. And it will include discussion of some promising recent advances, such as the legislature’s new requirement that every MBTA community develop at least one multifamily zoning district.

A gold colored map of Greater Boston. Blue text over it says "15-Minute Neighborhoods: Repairing Regional Harms and Building Vibrant Neighborhoods For All."

Part One

M. Lee Pelton, President and CEO, The Boston Foundation

The Vision of 15-Minute Neighborhoods
Carlos Moreno, Associate Professor, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne /
IAE Sorbonne Business School; Mayor of Paris’ Special Envoy for Smart Cities

Presentation of Report
Anne Kiyono Calef, Research Fellow, Boston Indicators
Luc Schuster, Senior Director, Boston Indicators

Panel Discussion and Q&A
Jonathan Berk, 
Director, Patronicity
Tracy A. Corley, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Northeastern University;
Director of Research & Partnerships, Conservation Law Foundation
Joseph A. Curtatone
Mayor, City of Somerville
Soni Gupta
Senior Director, Neighborhoods & Housing,
The Boston Foundation (Moderator)

Part 2 (optional, after 5 minute break)

Case Study Breakout Rooms

  • Equitable Economic Development in Gateway Cities: Worcester’s Canal District with Andre Leroux, Consultant, Transformative TOD Program, MassINC
  • Equitable Neighborhood Development in the Inner Core: Jackson Square with Alice Wong, Senior Loan Officer, Massachusetts Housing Partnership
  • Connecting New Neighborhoods to Existing Cities: Assembly Square with Sarah Lewis, Director of Planning, Preservation & Zoning, City of Somerville
  • Adding Density in Suburban Town Centers: Reading Town Center with Christine Madore, Senior Development Manager, Massachusetts Housing Partnership

Livestream link will be sent after registration, prior to the event.

For additional information, or to register by phone or email, please contact Michelle Hinkle at: