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Letter | ‘No’ is a bad strategy for Cambridge

Key link can be found between city’s industries and housing needs

Paul McMorrow’s analysis of the opposition to development in and around Central Square is a model of reason and clear thinking (“ ‘No’ is a bad strategy for Cambridge,” Op-ed, Aug. 28). The point is, as he says, not to oppose development but to socialize it.

The city’s greatest asset is its educational and biotechnical industries, and its greatest deficit is the lack of affordable housing. The one can be modeled to stimulate the other for mutual benefit, particularly that goal on which everyone agrees: the desire to maintain a socially and economically diverse community.

Down-zoning, or reducing the size of a structure a developer can build, would not only hamper development, but it would also further undermine the effort to support an increasingly beleaguered and outpriced working- and middle-class population.


“Yes” with socially creative conditions (and a much-improved level of architecture and urban design) is an infinitely more constructive response than the intransigent “no” that we hear from a strident minority.

Hubert Murray

The writer is an architect and planner.