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High points of the 2030 report

Findings

1. The affected real estate represents “an extremely precious resource.”

2. Prior planning and development here have been “intertwined with MIT’s commercial real estate investment goals,” and have typically taken place a significant distance from main campus.

3. Financial return should not be the “principal criterion” for this area.

4. The previous zoning plan “falls short of the aspirations” in points 1–3.

5. MIT needs to carefully consider additional housing for the community, especially graduate students. Such housing could be on-campus or off-campus.

6. Traffic impact needs to be considered.

7. The Cambridge Historical Commission has expressed an interest in designating E38, E39, and E48 as landmarks.

8. The City Manager and the Planning Board have asked to see MIT’s petition soon.

Conclusions

1. A comprehensive urban design plan should be completed, after the petition is approved but before anything is built.

2. The Task Force should participate directly in the planning process.

3. The plan should be guided by several design principles, listed below:

Design Principles

1. There must be an east gateway to MIT worthy of MIT and its aspirations, missions, and excellence.

2. The new buildings must “convey a campus feeling”; their ground floors should be reserved for inviting academic, student life, or retail uses and should not be gated or private.

3. Commercial space in Kendall Square should extend the campus, not the other way around.

4. Commercial development should generate an appropriate financial return, but perhaps not the same return as properties further from campus.

5. Commercial development should only happen in the context of the comprehensive design plan.

John A. Hawkinson