FRAMINGHAM – Residents are invited to add their voice to the Framingham and Natick planning process for the Golden Triangle online.
The Golden Triangle is the area around MassPike Exit 13 including the Natick Mall, Shoppers World, and Route 9.
Leaders and staff from each Town are working on a joint project to guide future growth in this area.
The research process is supported by an interactive project website, where planners will post updates, respond to comments by community members, and integrate feedback into the project.
“We are thrilled to be using the coUrbanize platform for this important study. It is a great solution for us to collaborate across both Towns and to reach busy people who live, work, and play in this area.” Says Erika Oliver Jerram, the Deputy Director of Community and Economic Development for the Town of Framingham, said in a press release.
“Defining a path to sustainable future development of the Golden Triangle is tremendously important to Framingham’s future,” said Town Manager Bob Halpin. “By using this platform, Framingham shows its readiness to leverage emerging technologies, to gain the input needed to make good decisions.”
Halpin’s counterpart in Natick Martha White agrees.
“With technology changing so quickly, Natick is always looking for ways to foster collaboration and reach out to a wide variety of audiences,” said White in a press release.
coUrbanize is a startup founded by urban planners from MIT with the goal to supplement the traditional community process that developers and planners use by connecting people online.
“Traditional planning workshops are important, but they can be a challenge for many people to attend,” said coUrbanize co-founder Karin Brandt. “By using technology to reach people and lowering the bar to participation, we can ensure that more voices are heard.”
Brandt says the coUrbanize platform makes projects easier to understand with a variety of visualizations and mapping tools, depending on planners’ needs. The site prioritizes community comments, and participants receive a notification when the project team replies.
The site will be active for the duration of the study, which will run through December 2017.
Framingham will become a city on January 1 2018.
After that date, the information will be available, but users will no longer be able to add comments.