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In face of change, Union Square residents have cause to push back

A bicyclist rode by a Christmas tree lot near Union Square in Somerville.

jim Davis/Globe Staff/File 2012

A bicyclist rode by a Christmas tree lot near Union Square in Somerville.

In his column “Gentrification vs. growth in Union Square” (Op-ed, March 4), Paul McMorrow squarely puts the ball in neighborhood residents’ court: If the big, exciting things planned for Union Square are to happen, we who live there must let developers build to the limits of the recently revised zoning code.

This argument is very much in the tradition of urban renewal advocates of the 1970s who bulldozed so-called blighted neighborhoods to make way for more so-called efficient high-rises. It minimizes legitimate concerns over how the Green Line extension and proposed redevelopment of Union Square would change a vibrant cityscape that has evolved organically over the last 25 years.

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While there are many points of contention around redevelopment and zoning, what fuels this controversy is that we, the neighborhood residents, have created a diverse, dynamic, fully functioning, successful urban community.

The challenge now is to fulfill the potential of Union Square while maintaining a sense of community. This can only be done if neighborhood residents continue to be committed and engaged in the development of our square.

Suzanne Bremer

Somerville

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