Sunday, June 23, 2024

We are A Better Cambridge — a group of residents working to build a more diverse and dynamic Cambridge on the path toward sustainable growth. Our members reflect a cross-section of the Cambridge community: renters, homeowners, working families, retirees, young people and others from across the city who are united in our opposition to the proposed downzoning of Central Square.

We believe that well-planned development can play a positive role in strengthening the social, cultural and economic diversity of Central Square and other Cambridge neighborhoods. When used appropriately, density can serve the varied needs of all Cambridge households, while promoting sustainable growth that allows current and future residents the opportunity to live, work, shop and play in the same community.

We oppose downzoning Central Square because:

Downzoning will hurt diversity in Central Square. It restricts our ability to create the types of housing needed by seniors and families with children or multiple generations. Downzoning encourages development of higher-cost housing that does not align with the needs of most Cambridge families.

Downzoning will hurt our vibrant local economy by making it too expensive for many small, local businesses to rent space and operate in Central Square. Downzoning encourages new commercial development that is out of touch with the character of our business districts and disconnected from our community priorities.

Downzoning is not environmentally sustainable. It reinforces sprawl, pushing jobs and vital services further from our community, increasing traffic congestion and automobile emissions on our roads.

Since our founding this summer, A Better Cambridge has heard from many Cantabrigians who share our vision for a more livable Cambridge. We ask all people who share this vision to take action against the proposed downzoning of Central Square. Please visit to sign our online petition to the Cambridge City Council and Planning Board and to join our efforts to build a better Cambridge.

Jesse Kanson-Benanav, chairman of A Better Cambridge