Urban Affairs

A Springfield revival?

A Springfield revival?

Railcar manufacturing, a casino, and other changes are creating optimism

Photographs by Mark Morelli SPRINGFIELD MAYOR DOMENIC SARNO remembers the day after Thanksgiving in 2012. The sky was clear and the temperature unseasonably warm. The mayor was at the city’s downtown museum complex for an event kicking off the start of the holiday season, and earlier he had attended the annual Parade of the Big(...)

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Worcester nixes sanctioned homeless camp

Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. on Monday ruled out any type of sanctioned camp for homeless people in the city, saying the issue “does not lend itself to one-size-fits-all solutions.” The issue of a sanctioned homeless camp first surfaced last week at a city council committee hearing, where Dr. Matilde Castiel, Worcester’s health and(...)

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Brutalist buildings need some TLC

Brutalist buildings need some TLC

Despite drama, humor, they no longer work

NESTLED BETWEEN BOSTON’S WEST END AND GOVERNMENT CENTER are two state-owned fortresses of brutalist architecture: the Hurley and Lindemann buildings. The structures are solid, but lacking. Outside staircases are fenced off as falling hazards. The walls have no insulation. The windows are single pane. Multiple unwelcoming entrances make it hard to find the right way(...)

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Two cheers for a charter school’s “Got to Go” list?

Pushing unruly kids out of high-performing “no-excuses” urban charter schools isn’t exactly something that draws praise. Indeed, the typical reaction is quite the opposite, with harsh condemnation for the idea that such schools may squeeze out difficult kids. But a few education policy types think we ought to think twice before being so fast to(...)

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Biking and driving on the streets of Boston

Cyclists are some of the most passionate advocates that the Bay State’s transportation sector has ever seen. Thanks to the pressure of bike advocates, bike lanes have been carved out along major thoroughfares such as metro Boston’s Massachusetts Avenue and major transportation projects like the Green Line Extension include considerations for cyclists. Yet the mix of(...)

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“Black Lives Matter” more than a slogan

“Black Lives Matter” more than a slogan

We must understand roots of discrimination against African Americans

A BLACK LIVES MATTER banner hangs on the front of Somerville City Hall. We put it up this week. We shouldn’t have to. We shouldn’t have to put a banner up that says we are against police violence based on discrimination involving black people. It shouldn’t be newsworthy when a government body says that it(...)

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Bloody night in Greater Boston

Gun violence has become the Muzak soundtrack to life in urban America: It’s always there, it’s bothersome, and it’s barely noticed after a while. At least by those outside its usual perimeter. The three things that seem to change that reality are numbers, fatalities, and geography. Lots of victims all at once, lots of fatalities(...)

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