Sign our petition to the Cambridge City Council & Planning Board: CLICK HERE TO SIGN
We believe that the Net Zero zoning proposal, however well-intentioned, is a narrow, inadequate and potentially harmful approach to reducing carbon dependence and emissions in Cambridge. For this reason, we ask the Cambridge City Council and the Planning Board to vote down this proposal to give our community the chance to implement broad and effective sustainability measures.
Mr. Hugh Russell, Chair
Cambridge Planning Board
Cambridge, MA 02139
Dear Chairman Russell,
On behalf of the members of A Better Cambridge, I am writing to ask you to vote NO on the Connolly Net Zero proposal.
While we wholeheartedly agree with the goal of eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels in Cambridge, we believe that the Connolly Net Zero zoning currently being considered by the City Council and Planning Board would do more harm than good in our community:
Net Zero affordable, multi-family housing is untested - There is no practice-based evidence that carbon-neutral, multi-family housing can built in a cost effective manner that keeps housing affordable to all Cambridge families. The proposed net zero zoning will hurt our ability to create the kinds of higher density, mixed residential and commercial buildings we need to sustain a diverse and affordable city.
Net Zero in Cambridge only ignores the reality of our carbon footprint - Every hundred square feet of development in Cambridge is a hundred square feet not going up along routes 128 or 495. To the extent that this proposal moves new construction away from Cambridge, with its high standards on sustainability, and into surrounding areas, it runs a substantial risk of actually raising the very emissions it proposes to contain.
Keep our Money Local - Under this proposal, developers could meet net zero requirements by paying out-of-Cambridge and out of State energy companies to offsets their emissions -- missing the opportunity to direct more funding to local programs like subsidies for conversions of existing buildings and smaller residences.
Have feedback? Feel free to leave it in the comments below. Also, we encourage you to visit the Cambridge Civic Journal and participate in the conversation in the ongoing conversation about our statement on the net zero zoning petition.
The members of A Better Cambridge thank the proponents of the Connolly Net Zero Petition for provoking such an important discussion about climate change adaptation in Cambridge. The Connolly Petition has challenged our community to take a serious look at how we will eliminate consumption of fossil fuels and promote alternative energy use across the city of Cambridge.
A better Cambridge is a net zero Cambridge. Eliminating carbon emissions should be a primary goal in Cambridge. We believe that a viable approach to serious energy efficiency in Cambridge relies on a multi-pronged strategy that addresses what we require of new development and how we adapt existing buildings, with a focus on multi-modal transportation throughout. A key achievement will be that carbon emissions are reduced within our city through construction of better and more efficient buildings, without at the same time exporting emissions to communities outside of our borders.Read more