Adams St., Nonantum

Economically Healthy Villages

Creating more housing is an investment in the future of Newton. New types of housing help create more walkable, vibrant, commercially viable villages while reducing the burden on the environment.

Improving the commercial vitality of Newton’s villages will help grow the tax base to maintain and improve city services like our schools, parks, and civic spaces.

Allowing more people to live in or near Newton’s villages is critical to the economic success of local businesses in our villages. People who can walk into a village tend to be better customers — going more frequently and doing more things while they are there.

Developing inviting places for people to linger will encourage people to spend more time in a village, frequenting more stores and restaurants. During last year’s community engagement regarding zoning redesign, there was wide support for having places to gather, sit and hang out with friends.

The more ways that people can access the village the better – walking, biking, public transit and driving. Villages need:

  • Safe places for people to walk and bike.
  • Space for shared mobility such as bike and car sharing.
  • Accessible access to public transportation.
  • Well placed parking. (Though, we need to be careful that parking doesn’t take up too much space as that will make the village feel less walkable and that space could better be used for retail or homes.)

Homes for a wide range of incomes would allow more people who work in Newton to live here. This would help local businesses by increasing the diversity and number of people who live nearby. People could work in our restaurants and shops as well as in the new life science labs.

Where could new housing go in a village? If one looks around, in some villages there are underutilized parking lots or single-story buildings that could easily have more stories for both housing and retail. Newton definitely has room to grow.

For the strength of our villages and community, Newton needs more housing.