Rendering of Riverside

Housing, Sustainability and Climate Change


New types of housing in Newton will help create more walkable, vibrant villages which reduce the burden on our environment. Allowing more families the opportunity to live in Newton near transit compared with distant suburbs is critical for addressing climate change.

Preserve Open Space

Suburban Sprawl Under Construction
Example of destruction due to sprawl outside Boston
If homes cannot be built here in Newton, more housing will be needed in distant suburbs. Developments with 50, 100 or more homes, usually single-family, are being built all around the Boston Area in places such as Hopkinton, Wrentham, and Boxborough in order to accommodate the area’s growing population. These new homes cause more destruction than any location in Newton as more trees are cut down, open space is paved over and new infrastructure such as roads, sewage, water and gas lines are built.

Less Sprawl, Less Driving, Lower Carbon Emissions

As people live farther and farther away from Boston, one needs a car for almost everything – to get to work, pick kids up from school, go shopping, see friends…

The average commute time in the Boston area is getting longer as distances and traffic increases. (A 10% increase between 2010 and 2020) More people have to drive through Newton to get to work on the Pike or Rt. 9 as well as on our local roads.

Living in Newton, on the other hand, one has better access to transit, stores and schools. One can walk and bike places more easily and even if one does drive, the distances are a lot shorter.

Fewer Cars Saves Money & Lowers Carbon Emissions

A household living near transit in a multifamily home in Newton is more likely to only have one car or no cars because they don’t need to do as much driving. In a recent overnight parking study of multifamily buildings in Newton, generally one parking spot or less was used per unit in the building.

In contrast, in distant suburbs with little if any transit such as Hopkinton or Southborough, a household has on average 2.3 cars.

Living in a location where a car is not needed helps make that location more affordable as the expense of owning a car can be over $10,000/year.

With fewer cars, people drive less which is an critical step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Multifamily Homes, Lower Carbon Emissions

Waban Multi-family 24 units
New condos in Waban include 4 affordable units
It is more energy efficient to live in multifamily home in Newton than in a single-family home  built far from Boston. Single-family homes have more exterior walls and windows than a multifamily, so they need more energy to heat and cool. Multifamily homes tend to be smaller, reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
Intersection Sustainable & Affordable Housing sign with images of 9 buildings with affordable units. Passive House standard