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Gateway Cities can accommodate thousands of new housing units and thousands of new jobs on the vacant and underutilized land surrounding their commuter rail stations. This walkable, mixed-use urban land offers an ideal setting for transit-oriented development (TOD) to take hold.Currently, Gateway City commuter rail stations get minimal ridership from downtown neighborhoods and few developers seek out this land for TOD. But changing economic forces may provide opportunities to funnel future development into transit-connected Gateway Cities, generating more inclusive and economically productive growth, reducing road congestion and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increasing housing supply, conserving open space, and improving quality of life in communities throughout the Commonwealth.With generous support from the Barr Foundation, this groundbreaking MassINC research explores the opportunity for TOD in regional urban centers with varying market contexts and estimates the positive outcomes possible if we realize the development potential for TOD in these cities. The report concludes with a strategy to help Massachusetts capture the promise of Gateway City TOD.
In 2008, Massachusetts enacted the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), an ambitious plan to reduce the Commonwealth's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. Under the Patrick administration, substantial progress was made toward meeting the interim goal of a 25 percent reduction by 2020. While emissions have fallen across a number of sectors, some experts believe more must be done to hit the 2020 target. And reaching the challenging 2050 goal will demand even more significant action in the near term.To assess public support for the policies required to live up to the state's commitments for greenhouse gas reduction, MassINC conducted a survey of 1,004 Massachusetts residents. Results from the poll show residents support a strong response to global warming. Climate change is not their highest priority, but the public still wants government to respond. Large majorities support a range of possible policy interventions, including some that would require significant public funding and higher monthly energy bills.
MassINC and the MassINC Polling Group are proud to present The 80 Percent Challenge. This report represents the first in-depth look at how Massachusetts residents perceive the problem posed by global warming, as well as their willingness to embrace efforts to address this unprecedented challenge.Massachusetts has taken bold steps to help solve its share of this worldwide problem. With the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, the state became one of the first in the nation to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting the ambitious 80 percent reduction target codified in this legislation will require support and participation from a broad coalition of residents, business interests, and state leaders.This report will help state leaders inform and educate residents in order to build this broad majority. It provides a barometer for where we are today and a benchmark for measuring future progress.
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