Harvard's 50-Year Plan (March-April 2007)
The density of the existing Harvard Business School campus in Allston is quite low, with a floor to area ratio (FAR, or ratio of a building’s floor area to the size of the plot on which it is built) of about 1. The FAR of Harvard’s Cambridge campus is about 1.5. The proposed campus in Allston would have an FAR of about 2.
Members of the Harvard Allston Task Force, a group of local community leaders, have already raised specific concerns about deviations from planning guidelines previously established by Harvard, local residents, and the city; among the issues they raised are the specifications for the initial science buildings, which exceed a height limit of 95 feet and seem to preclude a conventional street grid. At a community meeting, residents also raised concerns that the configuration of those buildings around green spaces serves to shut the community out, rather than to create the permeable campus-neighborhood boundaries envisioned in the joint planning process. Residents also focused on the relatively limited retail space planned for the key intersection of Western Avenue and North Harvard Street.