Kathy Pillsbury and Jay Walter gave an excellent presentation on “The Impact of Newton’s Zoning and the MBTA Communities Law on Climate Change” at Green Newton’s June 13 forum. Their presentation focused on the positive climate impact of the zoning proposal, its potential for alleviating Newton’s housing shortage, and its role in revitalizing Newton’s village centers.

This quote by Sierra Club sums up the presentation best, “How we build cities and towns has a profound effect on the causes and impacts of climate change. An essential strategy for reducing urban-related carbon emissions is supporting dense, mixed-use communities and land uses that prioritize walking, biking, or transit to meet daily transportation needs, as well as balancing jobs and housing within the region.”

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Green Newton supports the village center zoning proposal. We will testify in favor of it at the ZAP (Zoning and Planning) Committee hearing on June 26 at 7pm, and we encourage others to join us.

ZAP city councilors will continue to refine and debate the proposal in the coming months. We expect the entire City Council to vote on the completed proposal by the end of this year.

Kathy Pillsbury is a former climate change researcher for the Union of Concerned Scientists, and an active member of 350 Mass Newton Node as well as the Engine 6 Zoning Group. Jay Walter is a local architect and founder of the Building Professionals Zoning Working Group.