By PJ McCann

Mayor Menino launched the Boston Redevelopment Authority‘s Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative today at the Strand Theater. (You can read the press release from the event here.)

This initiative will help to create a vision for economic development along a nine-mile corridor stretching from South Station to Readville that is home to over 90,000 Boston residents. The area includes Hyde Park, Roxbury, Mattapan, and sections of Dorchester.

With four new MBTA stations coming on line in the next three years, the BRA’s initiative is well timed to capitalize on this investment by shaping local economic growth and spurring physical improvements along the corridor. The planning process will yield a comprehensive plan for economic development and physical improvement that will help stimulate the local economy.

This is also great news because good planning promotes good health.

When the “built environment” is safer, more live-able, and encourages walking, biking, and public transit use, residents are more physically active and experience lower rates of obesity and related chronic diseases. By pairing transportation improvements with a plan that will create jobs and opportunity, this planning process can ultimately improve many of the conditions that impact the health of some of Boston’s most vulnerable residents.

The vast scope of this plan creates a great opportunity for residents to identify needs in their neighborhoods and work with planners to find solutions that can promote a healthy local economy and healthier residents.

The BRA is seeking nominations for Advisory Groups that will help shape the vision for the corridor and individual station areas.  As the initiative moves forward, residents of the area will be strongly encouraged to participate in the process and share their vision.

For much more information about the initiative and for opportunities to get involved, visit http://www.fairmountindigoplanning.org/.

PJ McCann, Esq., is a policy analyst in our Office of Intergovernmental Relations.

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