Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration
The MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC) is the locally-run enhanced subegional organization of MAPC. It serves the MetroWest region of Greater Boston: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Marlborough, Natick, Southborough, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston.
MWRC works to coordinate our local governments to make MetroWest an even better place to live: more healthful, sustainable, equitable, safe, prosperous, and efficient. We facilitate interlocal collaboration, planning, and problem solving, and advocate for locally-initiated regional solutions to policy and planning challenges in MetroWest. Read our FY21 Work Plan here!
For additional information, please contact MetroWest Regional Collaborative Coordinator, Leah Robins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-933-0710.
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Enhancing Local Democracy in MetroWest
The Enhancing Local Democracy in MetroWest project identified underlying challenges to improving local democratic participation and effectiveness in the towns and cities of MRWC. The elements of the project:
- A review of Town Meeting operations in the subregion, a high-level review of electronic voting methods, and ideas for innovations and improvements;
- A review of when local elections are held across the sub-region and in other communities to determine whether elections could be conducted at times more conducive to wider participation;
- A high-level review of democratic engagement approaches that have been incorporated into municipal government, and recommendations for ways for traditionally underrepresented groups to vote at higher rates in local elections and to become more involved in local government.
Metrowest landline Project Phase 1
Funded by MWRC's enhanced assessment, this project will begin the process of transforming MetroWest's trails into a connected, prominent, active transportation and recreation network called the MetroWest Landline.
MetroWest cities and towns boast many lovely paths and trails, but many of them don't connect. Launching in the fall of 2017, the MetroWest LandLine Phase I project, will build community support for those action plans and for further strengthening the MetroWest LandLine. Working with MAPC's transportation team, MWRC will develop and promote an action plan to close one priority gap in each participating city and town.
The plan outlines:
- Plan documents for each project
- Plan documents for each sub-project
- MetroWest LandLine branding materials
- Presentation before each participating municipality's Board of Selectman. Presentation to be given in collaboration with the municipality's MWRC representatives and representatives from neighboring municipalities, and with the cooperation of the municipality's trails advocates. Request for acceptance of the report and, ideally, increased interest in implementation.
Project Scope & Timeline
When scope and timeline are developed, they will be posted here.
By vote of the MWRC Board, a body composed of one member of the Board of Selectmen and one member of the Planning Board from each participating municipality, the MetroWest LandLine Phase I project will be funded by the MWRC Special Assessment, a fund reserved for projects of regional significance.
MWRC will continue to update and circulate the draft project list, including to the participants of the January 19 trails meeting, and again to planners and MWRC representatives, in advance of scoping and budgeting.
March 16, 2017
MWRC held a Planners Roundtable at which the municipalities' planners reviewed and commented extensively on a preliminary draft project list for the LandLine project. The list had been drawn from information gathered at the January 19 trials meeting (please see below).
March 16, 2017
MWRC held a Full Board Meeting at which representives voted to take on the MetroWest LandLine Phase I project and fund it with the MWRC Special Assessment. Scoping will be developed by the MWRC Executive Board.
January 19, 2017
MWRC held a trails and greenways meeting attended by fifty-one trails committee members, enthusiasts, and advocates from accross the subregion. The group was divided into four subgroups representing geographical areas that straddle municipal borders. The subgroups shared ideas and marked up maps regarding priority gaps, then reconvened for a productive general discussion.
METROWEST GOVERNANCE PHASE II
At the request of the MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC), MAPC undertook a comprehensive review of the civic participation levels and governance structures of the nine MWRC communities.
The review consisted of a research and analysis phase, followed by a forum, "Getting Governance Right(er)," held on June 10, 2016, and attended by representatives from all MWRC cities and towns. The goal of the forum was to compare civic engagement and governance levels and practices across the sub-region and identify areas for further collaboration and research on those subjects.
The review did not seek to identify, nor did it find, a preferred governance model for all MWRC communities. There are many reasons (e.g., demographic and historic reasons) why participation levels and governance structures differ across these cities and towns in both significant and subtle ways. Nevertheless, regardless of these differences, these communities face common challenges in providing and sustaining efficient, effective and democratic forms of local governance, and each can learn from their neighbors’ experiences.
Funded by a DLTA grant from MAPC, MetroWest Governance Phase II will continue the research and best-practices dissemination done by the MAPC Municipal Collaboration team in MetroWest Governance Phase I in 2016. Scope and details are now being developed.
Getting Governance Right(er) Forum
Framingham Free Library - Wakelin Room
530 Washington St. Wellesley, MA 02482
Friday, June 10, 2016 7:45AM - 10:00AM
(breakfast and registration at 7:45AM, program begins at 8:00AM)
How do MetroWest municipalities get people to run for office or show up at Town Meeting? What are the pros and cons of having a charter? A room of MetroWest officials, administration, and staff gathered for a discussion about these matters and more. Many thanks to our distinguished panelists:
- Town Moderator Dennis Berry, Town of Wayland
- Town Administrator Robert Halpin, Town of Framingham
- Town Clerk Kathleen Nagle, Town of Wellesley
- Mayor Arthur Vigeant, City of Marlborough
MWRC Legislative Breakfast
Ashland Public Library
66 Front St. Ashland, MA 01721
Friday, May 6, 2016, 7:45AM - 9:30AM
2014 Spirit Award Winners
- Massachusetts State Representative Chris Walsh
- Framingham Selectman (ret) Dennis Giombetti
2013 Spirit Award Winners
- Executive Director of the MetroWest Visitors Bureau Susan Nicholl
- Executive Director of the MetroWest/495 Partnership Paul Matthews
2012 Spirit Award Winners
- Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority Frederick A. Laskey
- Massachusetts State Representative Carolyn Dykema
2011 Spirit Award Winners
- MetroWest Community Healthcare Foundation
2010 Spirit Award Winners
- MAPC Assistant Director of Land Use Planning & Chief Housing Planner Jennifer Raitt
- Town of Ashland
2009 Spirit Award Winners
- Southborough Town Planner Vera Kolias
- MetroWest Regional Transportation Authority
2015 events archive
Municipal Stormwater Workshop
June 10, 2015
Framingham Public Library
Speaker: MAPC Senior Environmental Planner, Julie Conroy
Historic Preservation Forum
March 13, 2015
Lexington Depot in Lexington, MA
Sponsors: MWRC and MAPC
- Chris Skelly, Director of Local Government Programs, Massachusetts Historical Commission
- Gretchen Schuler, Historic Preservation Planning Consultant
- Maureen Meister, Winchester Planning Board
- Marilyn Fenollosa, Lexington Historical Commission
- Janet Giele, Wellesley Denton Road Neighborhood District Commission
Fall Transportation Forum: Trails & Complete Streets
December 5, 2015
Morse Institute Library, Natick
- 2017 Planning for Recreational Marijuana Forum VIEW PRESENTATIONS AND LINKS FROM MWRC/SWAP 2-14-2017 FORUM ON PLANNING FOR RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA
- 2016 MetroWest Governance Research Project
- 2014 CIC Grant Electronic Weights and Measures
- Route 9 Smart Growth Plan and Corridor Study
- Framingham Tech Park Area Study
- 495 MetroWest Development Compact Plan
- MetroWest Regional Open Space Connectivity Plan
- Full Report
- Ashland Map
- Framingham Map
- Holliston Map
- Marlborough Map
- Natick Map
- Southborough Map
- Wayland Map
- Wellesley Map
- Weston Map
- MetroWest Regional Map