Letter: Urgent need to rebuild Shattuck campus-Jamaican Plains News

2021-11-03 06:04:38 By : Ms. Rain Lu

Jamaica Plain News (https://www.jamaicaplainnews.com/2021/11/02/letter-redevelopment-of-the-shattuck-campus-urgently-needed/328207)

We are a group of people who care about the residents and housing of Boston, the homeless, public health, climate justice, faith leaders and activists. They write to urge you to support the initial federal project to rebuild the Shattuck campus in April 2021. proposal.

When New York State went through a comprehensive planning process in 2019, stakeholders from surrounding communities, community groups, green space advocates, housing, and healthcare groups reached consensus on the vision plan. The vision plan includes behavioral health services, shelters, and 75-100 supportive housing units. The plan also includes integrating the campus with Franklin Park and including components that can be used by the community, such as public toilets, community gardens, or childcare centers. In the six months after Shattuck’s campus reconstruction project was approved by the state government, the city’s urgent need for supportive housing has become more urgent.

In this letter, you will find information about community processes, Boston and State public health needs to be addressed, and the impractical and last-minute nature of the Arborway Yard proposal.

Background information 1. Franklin Park covers an area of ​​527 acres 2. The Shattuck campus covers an area of ​​13 acres or 2.5% of Franklin Park. 3. The Shatak campus was established for public health purposes and was handed over to the state in 1949

The opioid epidemic is a public health emergency, and the reconstruction of the Shattuck campus is an urgently needed short-term and long-term solution. In 2020, 2,035 deaths related to opioid overdose were confirmed, and a report from the Ministry of Public Health in March 2021 showed that this number has increased this year. According to the state's 2019 demographic data, the largest increase in opioid deaths was among black men. Recently, Boston City authorities estimated that there are approximately 150 tents in Massachusetts and the Cass area. Connecting people to supportive housing is a critical first step in recovering from the struggles of mental health and substance abuse. Without supportive housing, people will end up in emergency rooms or inpatient wards, which is worse for them and more costly for cities and states.

The complete demolition of the Shattuck campus and reconstruction elsewhere will have a negative impact on the environment. As climate justice activists aware of the dangers of heat islands and the benefits of increasing the Boston canopy, we understand the desire of some Boston residents to return the campus to the park. However, the 13-acre campus has been developed. The input of climate activists ensured that four of the five principles of the final Shattuck campus redevelopment plan reflect environmental awareness, including improving public transportation, bicycle and walking options; increasing greening and open space; and linking up with cities and states. Sustainable development goals and strategies are aligned.

More community processes will not increase inclusiveness, but will delay much-needed services. A strong community process has taken place, resulting in a plan to address environmental issues and the state’s most critical public health needs. The Shattuck Community Advisory Board included representatives from the Emerald Necklace, the neighborhoods surrounding the park, health care sector, housing groups, organizations serving the homeless, people in recovery, in addition to a number of members from City and State agencies and electeds. Initially The state and city supportive housing proposal was postponed for 12 months to complete a sound Shattuck campus planning process to discuss and determine public health needs. In addition, the plan will continue to implement the Boston City’s Article 80 process, and there will be opportunities to provide further comments and more community advisory committee meetings to discuss the submitted proposals.

The proposal of Emerald Necklace Conservancy to provide on-site services for Arborway Yard is completely unrealistic and ignores years of public community processes that have led to the current Shattuck campus redevelopment proposal, the JP Rox plan, and other state and city pledges to be used in Arborway Yard. In the Shattuck Reconstruction Vision Plan, the Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Department (DCAMM) estimates that both new and existing projects will require 600,000 square feet of space. Arborway Yard has no space for additional proposed uses. MBTA has begun community planning for the new all-electric bus facility in Arborway Yard (the state's first all-electric bus facility). In addition, MBTA has pledged to honor the memorandum of understanding signed by Mayor Menino with the Commonwealth 20 years ago, which stipulates that 8 acres of Arborway Yard will be used for affordable housing and other community needs. The City of Boston has always been consistent with the expectation that this will happen, first through the Forest Mountain Improvement Plan, and then the plan: JP/Rox. In PLAN: JP/Rox, BPDA estimates that 744 houses will be built on more than 8 acres of land, of which 372 are affordable (almost 1/3 of the total units and the affordable units in the planned area) 1/3)). In addition to supportive housing, affordable housing is also an urgent need in Boston. One should not replace the other. We need both the supportive housing proposed for the Shattuck campus and the affordable housing unit planned for Arborway Yard.

In addition, we have deep reservations about continuing to quote the "Northeastern University Research Team", which is actually a team of students, supervised by the board of directors of Emerald Necklace Conservancy, whose task is to determine a new alternative location. ENC itself. They did not consider time and did not consult any public health experts in their projects.

Due to the urgent public health needs at the time, Mayor Curley designated the land for public health use in 1949. Today, we have multiple intersecting public health crises; the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in homelessness, systemic racism, opioid addiction, etc. Encouraging the conversion to the 13 acres of land that is vital to the health of so many people is certainly a loss for the city.

Supporters of this letter and the current proposal of the Shattuck campus: Organize 350 MA-Boston Node ACE Boston Tenant Union City Life / Vida Urbana Massachusetts National Women’s Organization Chapter New England Justice League Pine Street Hotel Recycling Roxbury South End Forum

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Our publisher, David Ertischek, has been a community reporter for more than 18 years. He has been an editor and reporter for local newspapers and websites. Since 2002, he has lived in Jamaica Plain. His favorite place in the Jamaica Plain is the Arnold Botanical Garden.

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