It seems we’re missing an important point in the proposals for affordable housing in East Bayside and elsewhere (Aug. 14).

Our challenge is not simply to warehouse lower-income people. It’s also to help foster attractive neighborhoods where these individuals, if they had the choice, might choose to live and raise families.

That thinking strikes me as notably absent in the dreary Boyd Street architectural renderings that depict a gussied-up high rise surrounded by parking lots and dead streets. We need designs that incorporate ideas for what urban activist Jane Jacobs described as “lively, diversified sidewalks” – local stores and attractions that serve new residents’ needs, lessen their dependence on cars or public transportation and create community.

Is it too bold a leap to ask planners, agencies and public officials to consider not just the challenge of where residents will live, but also how they will live once they’re there?

Tim Wallace


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