I'm looking forward to seeing many of you this evening at the Harvard Allston Task Force meeting (6pm at the Honan Library), and particularly because it has been so long since we've been together for a meeting like this, I thought it might be helpful to share some thoughts.
As I've been considering the current situation, I've realized that Harvard has a 1-year plan (to open a $20 million "Innovation Lab" in the former WGBH building at 125 Western Ave). Harvard also has a 3-year plan (to complete construction of Tata Hall, a $100 million Executive Education building on the HBS campus). Finally, Harvard is creating 5-year plans for each of its schools.
But North Allston-North Brighton does not have a 1-year plan and no consensus about land use, licensing, and leasing by Harvard and others. We have no 3-year plan, and no agreement on issues such as what will happen to the current Charlesview site after the new Charlesview is complete. And we don't have a 5-year plan either.
To be meaningful, these plans need the support of our community, Harvard, the BRA, our elected officials, and other stakeholders. Using the "SMART Goal" methodology - Specific / Measurable / Attainable / Resourced / Time-Bound - might also help make this an "action plan" instead of just a "plan".
We can sit back and wait until mid-2011 when Harvard's Allston Work Team will make its recommendations. Or we can wait until 2012 when Harvard is scheduled to submit a new Institutional Master Plan. I hope we will agree that our community has been waiting long enough and now is the time to move ahead.
I look forward to hearing your opinions on this today, tonight, and/or tomorrow.