The Point neighborhood in the City of Salem includes nearly 144 acres and 4,100 people, and is located just south of the downtown and wharf areas. The Point is distinguished from surrounding neighborhoods by its geography, density, high proportion of multi-family housing and masonry apartment blocks, and a high concentration of recent immigrants.
Neighborhood resources include rich architectural assets, a significant supply of affordable housing, immigrant-owned small businesses, easy access to Salem Harbor and public transit, and close proximity to Salem State University. It is also a vibrant, ethnically-diverse community that has long been a settlement destination for newcomers.
This Salem Point Neighborhood Vision and Action Plan project was a collaboration among city, regional, nonprofit and grassroots stakeholders to develop a vision for improving the Point neighborhood between 2013 and 2020. The Plan is now bring implemented through the leadership of an Advisory Group that is stewarding plan implementation.
Salem Point Neighborhood Commercial Corridors Revitalization Plan Finalized
In spring 2014, the City of Salem received funding through the 2014 District Local Technical Assistance program to undertake a Commercial Corridors Revitalization Plan in collaboration with the North Shore Community Development Corporation and MAPC. This project advances the housing and economic development vision outlined in the Plan. A portion of the work is also funded through a Working Cities Challenge Grant.
The Plan evaluates the retail market, housing, and mixed use redevelopment potential of parcels in the Congress and Lafayette Street corridors and also examines potential in connective corridors including Peabody, Harbor, and Palmer streets. The Plan includes a retail market analysis and an analysis of parcel development or redevelopment potential, resulting in an action plan that aims to boost economic activity and inclusivity in the Point and better connect it with the booming downtown economy. The Corridors Plan was completed in December 2014.
Salem Point Vision and Action Plan, 2013-2020
The Salem Point Neighborhood Vision and Action Plan outlines a vision to improve the quality of life in the Point neighborhood and an action agenda that the City of Salem and community partners will work together to implement over a seven-year period from 2013-2020.
This Plan is a product of a year-long grassroots, neighborhood-level visioning process where city officials and community leaders, residents, students, service providers, property owners, and others engaged in a series of conversations to consider practical approaches for building upon the assets of the Point and making it an even better place to live, work, study, and visit. The Action Plan was completed in August 2013. – Spanish version (key sections translated) here.
“What’s the Point?”a Community PlanIt Game
One part of this project’s outreach and engagement strategy was the use of Community PlanIt, a web-based game where community members electronically interacted with one another on their smart phone or computer to contribute ideas about the neighborhood. In the game, community members (players) participated in online challenges, collect coins for participation, and pledged coins to Causes — real-world organizations or nonprofits — to fund services or activities that benefit the neighborhood. Between January 28 and February 18, people who live, work, study, and play in the Point played the game.
Now that game play is over, the website has converted to a post-game state where you can see comments people have left and summary stats on player responses to questions in the game: www.communityplanit.org/salempoint.
Here’s a primer on the Community PlanIt game. This video was produced by our game development partner, Emerson Engagement Game Lab.
Point Neighborhood Walking Tour
View photos from a recent walking tour MAPC conducted with youth from the North Shore CDC Youth Jobs program. Phgoos taken will go into the design for “What’s the Point?” a Community PlanIt game that will be launched in the early spring and provides another avenue for residents within and outside of the Point to weigh in on assets and opportunities in neighborhood.
The project was initiated by the City of Salem and the North Shore Community Development Coalition (NSCDC) with the support of MAPC and is funded by the Metro Boston Consortium for Sustainable Communities.
- MAPC is working with the City of Salem and NSCDC to synthesize existing data about the Point, helping to plan and facilitate public meetings, and preparing all final project deliverables. MAPC is also coordinating the participation of Emerson Engagement Game Lab, which is developing and implementing the Community PlanIt igame.
- NSCDC is undertaking all outreach and engagement for development of the vision statement and action plan, including canvassing, surveying, and small-scale community meetings and neighborhood-wide meetings.
- The City of Salem is assisting with the compilation of content from existing studies pertaining to the Point, planning and facilitating the second public meeting, and assessing impediments and opportunities to implementing the neighborhood vision.
Why it’s important
The project aimed to empower residents to create their own community vision and to mobilize resources to ensure that the Point develops sustainably in its housing, land and environmental resources, and its economy. Project partners hope that the resulting Action Plan guides municipal priorities for local capital and operating improvements.
This project supports MetroFuture’s Sustainable Growth Patterns , Housing Choices , Community Vitality, and Healthy Environment goals for the region.
For more information about this project, please contact:
- Jennifer Erickson, MAPC Regional Planner and Equity Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-933-0759
- Lynn Duncan, AICP, Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Salem at email@example.com or 978-619-5685
- Mickey Northcutt, Executive Director of the North Shore Community Development Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-745-8071