Artist Incentive Zoning

As other cities follow suit, Boston leads the way in creating artist housing through developer incentive programs and design requirements.
February 17, 2009, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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"Boston is not the only city that has promoted artist housing in recent years. From Berkeley, California, to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, municipalities have adopted a range of artist-friendly measures, including zoning allowances and tax incentives. But Boston's program, launched in 2002, is one of the country's most ambitious. In a high-pressure real estate market, the Artist Space Initiative aims to make the presence of artists enduring, rather than a stage on the way to gen­tri­fication. 'This is the whole reason it emphasizes the creation of permanent space,' says Heidi Burbidge, who coordinates the pro­­gram at the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the city's planning agency."

"Boston already requires that at least 15 percent of units in large new residential buildings be priced based on income limits. Artists' units with specific requirements for ventilation, insulation, and loading can be tacked onto the affordable component of a building, adding bohemian cachet."

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Published on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 in Metropolis
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