Office Of Transporation Planning Massachusetts Executive Office of transporation

New transit service to the South Coast will likely bring new jobs and homes to the region.  New growth, however, can bring some unwanted changes, eating up farms, fields and forests and eroding the historic villages and cities that help make the South Coast so special. The scale and geographic reach of the South Coast Rail project offer unprecedented opportunities to protect our communities and our natural environment, while finding ways to welcome and shape new growth.

This approach is what's often called smart growth. We combine transportation, economic development, and environmental goals with old-fashioned frugality and common sense. We don't waste resources or land. We plan ahead to preserve the long-term, global competitive advantages of the whole region — the people and communities who live and work in the region, abundant water, and the traditional village and city patterns of development that are highly energy-efficient.


We are investing in two parallel initiatives to catalyze smart growth:

  1. Plan for the Future.  MassDOT and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development partnered with the region’s communities to develop a smart growth plan for the whole corridor, which includes 31 cities and towns. The South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan is a blueprint for economic development, job creation and environmental preservation. The goal is to preserve the strengths of the region and encourage support for the village development that is energy efficient.

  2. Capture Today’s Opportunities.  The state is partnering with the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Old Colony Planning Council to provide technical assistance to the South Coast communities to get in place new zoning around potential train stations, enhance village centers, and develop actions for preserving natural areas.

The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association gave this plan the 2009 President’s Award for Outstanding Planning.  Click here to read more about the award on MassDOT's blog, Commonwealth Conversations.


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