Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration
The North Suburban Planning Council (NSPC) is comprised of representatives from eight towns and one city. The purpose of NSPC is to facilitate cooperative regional planning.
The Goals of NSPC are to facilitate communication between communities, promote and seek opportunities for inter-municipal coordination and cooperation, and create an agenda for action on planning topics including growth management, land use which allow the region to retain its character and its desirability as a place to live and work.
NSPC Officers, FY2022
Co-chair: Melisa Tintocalis, Town of Burlington
Co-chair: Andrew MacNichol, Town of Reading
2020 Census & Procurement | Agenda
Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) | Agenda
NSPC Housing Quick Facts (2018)
For the May, 2018 NSPC meeting, NSPC commissioned one page "housing quick facts" for each community in the subregion. These one-page guides can serve as a resource for municipal officials, planners, and residents. The guides include frequently sought after information such as population and household change, median household income, characteristics of housing stock, housing tenure, and housing affordability from the US Census and American Community Survey.
NSPC Mobility Study (2017)
The subregion is served by four public transit agencies and three Transportation Management Associations (TMAs), and has access to I-95 (known locally as Route 128) and I-93. The vast majority of trips in the subregion are taken by automobile. Each municipality participated in the mobility study through planning council meetings, focus group meetings, and completion of a survey of existing transit services and transit development practices.
This study consisted of four steps.
- Literature review of previous studies, and a review of emerging trends in communities creating first and last mile connections for transit trips.
- Inventory of existing demographics and transit services in the subregion.
- Outreach in the form of focus group discussions with employers, non-profits, and other institutions to discuss the challenges of accessing jobs in the region with transit.
- Using data from the above steps, Identification of areas more suitable for transit, and development of recommendations for possible services and pilot programs.
NSPC Priority Mapping Project (2014)
The NSPC Priority Mapping Project was a 1.5 year-long effort to identify and map local and regional priorities for development, preservation, and infrastructure investments within the subregion.
The project aimed to:
- Establish community-based priorities and strategies within the NSPC subregion
- Integrate municipal priorities into regional and state development and preservation strategies
- Provide direction for public investments that consider the intrinsic qualities of the subregion while capitalizing on its strengths
Read the final report:
On February 25, 2014, over 50 people attended the Priority Mapping Project Next Steps Forum to share their ideas of the policies, planning, projects, and advocacy needed to advance the local and regional priorities identified in the report. Read the forum summary.
Metro North Regional Housing Services Office (MNRHSO)
MAPC worked with the NSPC communities of Reading, North Reading, and Wilmington (as well as the Inner Core community of Saugus) on the Metro North Regional Housing Services Office (MNRHSO) project. The MNRHSO provides affordable housing support and information to member communities and citizens looking to live in our region. Their primary task is monitoring the more than 2,500 units in the four member towns with the mission of expanding low and moderate income housing options. Learn more by contacting Karina Milchman.
Local Energy Action Plan for Lynnfield, North Reading, Reading, and Wilmington (2013)
MAPC worked with the towns served by the Reading Municipal Light Department – Lynnfield, North Reading, Reading, and Wilmington – to plan for long-range energy efficiency and renewable energy work. Learn more.
Wakefield, Melrose, and Reading Transportation Corridor Plan (2012)
MAPC collaborated with Wakefield, Melrose and Reading to develop a coherent, forward-looking transportation plan that will improve upon the existing transportation network.
The Main Street Corridor Study looks at ways to improve upon the existing transportation network byreducing automobile traffic while promoting commuter rail, walking, bicycling and bus transportation.
This study addresses a full range of transit options and focuses on achieving sustainable development and land use objectives. Opportunities to implement compact growth and transit-oriented development strategies that can elevate Main Street to a greener, more accessible multi-modal transit corridor were explored. Nine goals were developed based on feedback from interactive community forums, meetings with the planners of Reading, Wakefield and Melrose, site visits, and research. Focusing on the needs of those who live, shop and travel along Main Street, the goals and strategies address improving accessibility between places, promoting walking and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, compatibility with public transit, and less reliance on cars.
Download the Main Street Corridor Study by section: