Urban planning gone bad

The Somerville DIF seemed to have missed the point.  You don’t make an area vibrant by taking locally owned business by eminent domain and replacing them with parking garages.

From today’s Boston Globe

Coming into Union Square down Prospect Street, you can’t miss Ricky’s Flower Market. Offering flowers and tomatoes all summer and Christmas trees in fall, the indoor/outdoor shop is a community mainstay.

But is it a bright spot or a roadblock? In Somerville, the perspective you take makes all the DIFference.

The city planning department’s proposed District Improvement Financing project has shocked even fans of the improvements planned for Union Square, such as a Green Line stop, reduced truck traffic, and improved storm drains. What sounded like yet another unimportant economic development meeting Sept. 15 introduced a 30-year plan specifying properties the city wants to either buy or take by eminent domain — including Ricky’s.

For a second parking garage, the city plans to buy or take the popular Reliable Market, Somerville’s main source of kimchee.

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