Inner Core Committee (ICC)


Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration

The Inner Core Committee (ICC), consisting of 21 cities and towns within the metropolitan Boston area, is a forum to explore issues of mutual concern and foster joint action.

The ICC is MAPC's largest subregion, representing the largest number of municipalities of any subregion: about 51 percent of the MAPC region’s population - over 1.6 million residents. As some of the most urban and populous communities within the MAPC planning area, ICC cities and towns deal with a host of unique challenges, such as finite developable land, issues of neighborhood change and gentrification, limited affordability, congestion, and public transit capacity limitations, to name a few. The ICC meets regularly to discuss these and other topics, share best planning practices, and explore opportunities for regional collaboration.

Contact the ICC Subregional Coordinator, Karina Milchman, at

Membership and Leadership

The ICC consists of representatives from 21 of the metropolitan area’s innermost communities: Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton,* Needham*, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Saugus, Somerville, Waltham, Watertown, and Winthrop. The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council are also voting members of the Committee.

*Milton and Needham have dual membership in ICC and the Three Rivers Interlocal Council (TRIC).

The ICC Co-chairs for FY18 are John DePriestDirector of Planning and Development at the City of Chelsea and Dan BartmanSenior Planner for the City of Somerville.

Inner Core Communities

Get more information about the ICC cities and towns by visiting their Community Snapshot pages, which are provided by the Metro Boston Data Common, and by visiting municipal websites below.

Arlington Belmont Boston Brookline Cambridge Chelsea Everett




Lynn Malden Medford Melrose Milton Needham Newton


Quincy Revere Saugus Somerville Waltham Watertown Winthrop

Fiscal Year 2020

July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020

June 17, 2020

The ICC held its final bimonthly meeting of fiscal year 2020 in June via Zoom. The meeting included a vote to adopt the FY21 Work Plan and to elect FY21 co-chairs, Dan Bartman of Somerville and John DePriest of Chelsea. There was also a packed agenda focused on economic development, including small business recovery and current, short-, and long-term workforce development strategies. The members were joined by municipal economic development planning staff, MAPC Chief of Economic Development Betsy Cowan, and Stefanie Shull with CONNECT Partnership, TND. The meeting concluded with legislative updates provided by Leah Robins with MAPC’s Government Affairs Department, which focused on COVID-19 response efforts and the next budget and legislative session.

May 20, 2020

The ICC held its May meeting via Zoom to focus on work planning for the next fiscal year. After a community exchange focused on response to COVID-19, the members evaluated the last year and discussed goals for the next. A list of new topics to explore was generated, which will guide agenda development for future bimonthly meetings. Please see the FY21 Work Plan on this website for more information.

April 22, 2020

In accordance with social distancing guidance, the ICC convened in April via an online meeting platform. Discussion focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on the subregion and emergency response and recovery resources. With 16 of the 21 inner core cities and towns present, meeting participants heard from MAPC staff on updates on state actions, new data analysis on the intersection of unemployment and housing costs, workforce recovery efforts, and homelessness response efforts. The group then discussed unique challenges to the planning field at this time, including conducting digital public processes and how to advance zoning and permitting.

January 15, 2020

Representatives from Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Needham, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Saugus, Somerville, and Watertown attended a transportation-focused ICC meeting with the Boston MPO. Information on new transit modernization, dedicated bus lane, and climate resiliency funding programs was shared. Discussion focused on shared roles and responsibilities of agencies, the need to better link studies to appropriate funding sources and timelines, a desire to collaborate with the MBTA to enhance transit, the need to better incorporate equity into project prioritization, and specific project ideas. Interested parties can stay in touch by subscribing to the MPO’s mailing list and following them on Twitter @BostonRegionMPO.

November 20, 2019

The ICC met in November to discuss multifamily housing in the Commonwealth and displacement concerns in the inner core. Amy Dain, public policy analyst, shared findings from her research on where zoning allows multifamily housing development, at what densities, and through what kind of permitting processes. MAPC’s Research Division shared new work on understanding displacement, including gentrification- and turnover-associated displacement at the household and community levels. Discussion included a potential ICC project to study the impacts of new residential development on the costs of surrounding housing stock. Staff for the MPO shared news about the TIP and there was also discussion of the Census 2020.

September 18, 2019

The ICC kicked off FY20 with a meeting focused on new approaches to community outreach and engagement. Katherine Levine Einstein of Boston University presented findings from her study of who participates in local government. The answer? An unrepresentative sample of the population. Susan Silberberg of CivicMoxie shared observations from the field about effective strategies to engage the public, such as working with local leaders and bringing meetings to wherever stakeholders convene rather than inviting them elsewhere. The membership also heard an update on the legislative session, phase 2 of MAPC’s Perfect Fit Parking initiative, and ongoing work on MBTA’s bus shelters.

Fiscal Year 2019

July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019

June 19, 2019

In June, the ICC met to vote on business for the next fiscal and to explore creative communications strategies in planning. The membership unanimously voted in favor of Co-chairs John DePreist, Chelsea, and Dan Bartman, Somerville, serving in FY20. The FY20 Work Plan was also adopted with a unanimous vote. Karin Brandt, founder of coUrbanize, spoke to the membership about her company’s efforts to engage the public in planning processes through a combination of digital and real life strategies. A 3D model developed by MAPC to help the public visualize zoning amendments was shared with the membership. And MAPC’s recent communications work in the City of Salem was presented, including a video narrative of the housing challenges in that community.

May 15, 2019

The ICC met in May to work plan for the next fiscal year. The membership discussed the ICC mission statement and how to advance it through next year’s bimonthly meetings through meeting format and focus areas. Attendance and local areas of interest and effort were also discussed.

April 3, 2019

The ICC met to discuss climate and public health with area experts. The meeting started with a discussion of Energy Codes with Nicole Sanches, Clean Energy Coordinator at MAPC. Next was Heidi Stucker, Assistant Director of Public Health at MAPC, who spoke about a Climate Perspectives project that assessed climate change impacts on workers in vulnerable industries like farming, fishing, and construction. Hannah Payne with the City of Somerville’s Office of Sustainability + Environment shared the new Climate Forward action plan. The meeting concluded with an activity facilitated by the Greater Boston Research Advisory Group (G-BRAG) out of UMass Boston focused on updating climate change projections.

January 23, 2019
At the start off of new year, the ICC was invited to a special breakfast to kick-off MetroCommon 2050, Greater Boston’s next long-range regional plan, in the subregion. The breakfast drew ICC members, other municipal staff, and local elected and appointed officials to Southern Kin, a restaurant at Assembly Row in Somerville. The event kicked-off with a presentation on MAPC’s recent effort to understand local planning goals through a review of local master and other plans. The bulk of the meeting was spent in small groups, discussing opportunities and challenges we need to plan for over the next 30 years.

November 28, 2018
The November ICC meeting focused on housing. There was discussion of different methodologies to understand projected housing need and demand and established housing goals, followed by discussion of strategies to build support for initiatives to expand housing opportunity. MAPC provided an update on recent housing work and the launch of MetroCommon 2050, Greater Boston’s next long-range regional plan, in the subregion. Finally, the ICC discussed legislative priorities.

September 19, 2018
The first ICC meeting of our fiscal year focused largely on transportation. Discussion included an update on the Transportation Network Company (Rideshare) Funds, MBTA’s new automatic fare collection system, and Focus40. ICC membership also received an update from MAPC’s Government Affairs Department on goings-on at the state house and from MAPC’s Chief of Economic Development about new work in this topic area.

Fiscal Year 2018

July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018

March 21, 2018
The March ICC meeting focused on arts and culture planning, including recent work by MAPC’s division in Boston and Arlington, by the Arts + Business Council of Greater Boston, by the Transformative Culture Project, and by the Mass Cultural Council.

January 17, 2018
The ICC met to hear about and discuss MassDOT’s Focus40 25-year plan for MBTA assets, the MBTA’s recent efforts to implement transit signal priority pilots, MPO updates including the next Long Range Transportation Plan for federal dollars, a local bus-rapid-transit-light pilot in Everett, and new no-cost dockless bike shares.

November 15, 2017
The Inner Core Legislative Breakfast brought together ICC members, City Councilors and Planning Board members, and Representatives Aaron Michlewitz of the Joint Committee on Financial Services and Representative Mark Cusack of the Joint Committee on Marijuana policy to discuss short-term rentals and recreational marijuana.

September 20, 2017
Inner Core meeting on economic development, including an update on the Community Benefits District bill by the MSGA, how cities can attract and work with incubators by Greentown Labs, and an update on MAPC's Economic Development Divison.

Fiscal Year 2017

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

January 18, 2017
Inner Core meeting on MS4 stormwater permit requirements and the Imagine Boston 2030 master planning process.

March 22, 2017
Inner Core meeting on equity in the region, featuring presentations on MAPC’s State of Equity Indicators Report and Mayor Walsh’s anti-displacement legislative agenda by the Boston Department of Neighborhood Development.

May 17, 2017
Inner Core meeting on transportation, including discussion of value capture, MAPC’s Perfect Fit Parking tool, and bus rapid transit in Metro Boston by Mary Skelton Roberts of the Barr Foundation.

June 14, 2017
The annual Inner Core meeting gave members the opportunity to vote on revised bylaws and the FY18 work plan, as well as learn about MAPC’s MasBuilds collaborative inventory of development, discussion the benefits of vision zero, and hear about the MassWorks Infrastructure Program from Director Erica Kreuter of the MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

Fiscal Year 2016

July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016

June 15, 2016

Inner Core meeting on design and procurement for great playspaces, featuring guests from Kaboom!, the Trust for Public Land, and the City of Chelsea.

March 16, 2016
Inner Core meeting on several topics: Legislative Updates, MAPC-Urban Land Institute (ULI) Developers Roundtable, Arts and Planning Toolkit preview, Boston Creates Cultural Planning process overview, and an overview of innovation infrastructure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

January 20, 2016
Inner Core meeting on food system planning in the subregion, featuring MAPC's Food System Planner Heidi Stucker.

November 18, 2015
Inner Core Meeting on several topics: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, Legislative Updates, Development Database, Transportation Updates - MBTA Focus40 Capital Planning Process, TIP & UPWP, and LandLine: Metro Boston Regional Greenway Planning Project

September 16, 2015
Inner Core Outreach and Engagement TalkShop: Presentations and Discussion with guests from the City of Boston, the City of Somerville, and the Town of Arlington

Fiscal Year 2015

July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

April 9, 2015
Inner Core Session on Managing Stormwater Through Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure

March 12, 2015
Inner Core Committee Forum on Housing. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about regional housing and local housing planning in the Inner Core, discuss emerging issues, and hear about innovative housing initiatives and projects in Boston, Watertown, and Somerville.

October 7, 2014
Discussion on the Long Range Transportation Plan and Presentation on the Massachusetts Housing Data Portal

December 11, 2014
Discussion of Subregional Ideas for the District Local Technical Assistance/Planning for MetroFuture Program and Presentation of the Housing for Middle-Income Housholds Project and Regional Greenway Planning Project

Fiscal Year 2014

July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014

October 2, 2013
Inner Core Committee Leadership Transition and FY14 Work Plan

September 4, 2013
Health Impact Assessments

Fiscal Year 2013

July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013

June 5, 2013
MetroBoston DataCommon Training Workshop

May 1, 2013
Meeting on the Local Energy Action Program and regional transportation priorities

April 3, 2013
Meeting on Preparing for Climate Change in Greater Boston

February 6, 2013
Meeting on Organizing and Economic Development Summit: Lessons from Revere

December 5, 2012
Meeting on Regional Transportation Priorities

November 7, 2012
Meeting on Legislative Priorities and Sustainable Communities, ICC Work Plan Update

October 3, 2012
Meeting on FY13 Sustainable Communities Proposal and ICC Annual Work Plan

Fiscal Year 2012

July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012

June 26, 2012
Walking Tour of the Blueback Herring River Route

June 6, 2012
Meeting on Inner Core transportation priorities and ideas for the FY13 Sustainable Communities work plan

May 2, 2012
Meeting on Green Communities and the Local Energy Action Program (LEAP)

April 4, 2012
Training Workshop on Getting the Census Data You Need Using American FactFinder 2

This event was funded by the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. It was co-sponsored by the American Planning Association Massachusetts Chapter (APA-MA), the Mel King Institute for Community Building, the US Census Bureau, and the Tufts GIS Center. 2 AICP CM credits offered, currently pending approval.

March 7, 2012
Breakfast Workshop on Innovative Outreach Strategies and Effective Public Meetings

This event was funded by the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant and the American Planning Association Massachusetts Chapter (APA-MA). It was co-sponsored by APA-MA and the Mel King Institute for Community Building. 2 AICP CM credits offered, currently pending approval.

February 1, 2012
Meeting on Regional Transportation Priorities including FFYs 2013-2016 TIP and FFY 2013 UPWP

January 4, 2012
Meeting on Municipal Governments and Accessibility Issues

December 7, 2011
Meeting on Inner Core Census Data Trends