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From May to October 2009, the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development hosted a series of information sessions on key trends occurring in Somerville.  Approximately 300 residents participated in these public meetings where City Staff presented their research findings and sought feedback on subject areas, such as: 

  • Population
  • Economic Development
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Housing 

Among the findings were: 

  • After four decades of population losses, Somerville gained population between 1990 and 2000. 
  • Youth under age 18 represent the most racially and ethnically diverse segment of Somerville's population.
  • The largest industry sector in Somerville is Health and Social Services, which employed 3,760 people in 2007.
  • Somerville has more miles of roads per land area than any other surrounding community - approximately 25 miles of road per square mile of land.
  • Condominium construction and conversions represent the most significant increase in Somerville's stock of owner-occupied housing since 2000.
  • Somerville's total area of open space is approximately 6.75% of the total city land area. 

Through evaluation of current and historic trends, City staff, as well as residents and stakeholders, can gain a more thorough understanding of where Somerville is headed in the next twenty years.  In addition to an analysis of historic data, the trends reports compare Somerville's statistics to those of neighboring cities and state averages. 

The City of Somerville, with the help of community partners, performed a parcel-by-parcel land use inventory during May 2008 and August 2009 in order to document a clear understanding of the land use make-up of the city.  The trends reports and land use survey establish a solid foundation of factual data that serve as the backdrop to the community visioning sessions and the development of the Comprehensive Plan.  Furthermore, with the 2010 Census approaching, an understanding of previous population data is critical to ensure an accurate understanding of Somerville's residents.  With major transportation and infrastructure projects proposed for the coming decade - such as the extension of the Green Line and the station addition of the Orange Line at Assembly Square - an understanding of previous transportation and infrastructure trends is critical to ensure an accurate understanding of Somerville's mobility patterns and development potential.

See the links on the right for presentations, technical reports, and brief fact sheets about the five trends that were analyzed.

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