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Letter: Invitation to community forums on east campus/Kendall gateway study

The following email was sent today to the Institute community by Acting Provost Marty Schmidt and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz.

To Members of the MIT Community:

As recommended by the Faculty Task Force on Community Engagement in 2030 Planning, MIT has commissioned a design study to help us envision the future of our east campus and the Kendall gateway area. A critical element of the study process is the gathering of thoughts and ideas from the MIT and Cambridge communities. To facilitate this exchange of information, we are hosting community forums between November 2013 and January 2014 to share our progress and invite discussion and ideas.

The East Campus / Kendall Gateway urban design study
The design study, which follows the approval of MIT’s rezoning petition in April 2013, will guide us in creating a vibrant gateway to campus, enhancing the innovation cluster, and enlivening the Kendall Square urban environment. A multidisciplinary urban design team – selected by the East Campus Steering Committee, with input from SA+P faculty – will be conducting this research in order to propose a viable and comprehensive plan for the redevelopment of Institute-owned property in Kendall Square.

The Cambridge City Council’s approval of our rezoning petition gives MIT the ability to propose over a million square feet of new development, which will be a combination of housing, retail, lab, commercial, and open space. MIT also continues to have the right (established prior to the rezoning petition) to develop 800,000 square feet of new academic space in this area.

Community forums
The community forums will help us build on the work of a three-year, community-wide effort to align the interests of a broad group of stakeholders around the future vision for Kendall Square. At these gatherings, the urban design team will solicit your input and share the study progress. As the team develops concepts, it will take into consideration the analysis developed by Elkus Manfredi Architects and the City of Cambridge during the rezoning effort, the important design goals and planning principles recommended by a faculty design group, and the input from the community.

MIT community forums
Thursday, November 7, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Room 3-270
Wednesday, December 11, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Room 32-155
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., (Location TBD)

In addition to the community forums, the MIT 2030 website will provide current information and resources throughout the urban design process.

Recognizing that the work to re-imagine the east campus of MIT will require collective wisdom, we hope you will join us at these forums to learn more and share your thoughts.


Marty Schmidt, Acting Provost
Israel Ruiz, Executive Vice President and Treasurer

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