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Our Story

Re:Main is on a mission to go beyond planning, tapping into the latent power of our walkable neighborhoods; 1) fostering active public realms, 2) engaging and growing robust small business ecosystems, and 3) integrating housing abundance that will make these places the engines of connectivity, entrepreneurship, equity, sustainability, and local economies. 

Historic Development Patterns

For thousands of years human civilization has built communities that fostered connections, supported local economies, inspired creativity and new ideas through happenstance interactions and built sustainable, resilient places where families and friends could live close together through a variety of housing types. Since the “post-war” era of the 1950s, we began to dramatically and unsustainably, sprawl our communities further away from economic centers, deeper into our natural resources, requiring more highway infrastructure and placing many communities on the brink of financial collapse.

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Our Harmful Sprawl

As we’ve continued to sprawl, we’ve neglected our more walkable, human scale neighborhoods designed to foster community connectivity and strong local economies, building large shopping malls on the outskirts of town that sucked energy and money away from our main streets and downtowns. Our sprawling housing supply forces more people into cars for everyday errands clogging our area roads and highways, polluting our air and harming our regional economy while robbing people of precious time in their lives. As the cost of housing skyrockets and production lags far behind demand, we’re exacerbating regional income and racial inequality that our suburban sprawl continues to perpetuate.

Rethinking Housing

There's one thing in common across all generations, an increasing demand for more walkable housing closer to amenities with more active public spaces and small businesses. 79% of Americans place a premium on living in walkable neighborhoods yet our housing supply only provides an opportunity for about 1 in 12 to be able to do so. Walkable housing also commands a price premium of nearly 40% over similar sized housing in less walkable areas. “Rightsizing” our supply of walkable housing in active and vibrant neighborhoods is a necessity to sustain growing populations, support aging in place with dignity and independence & enable us to supply housing to our growing regions in the most sustainable, equitable way possible.

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Rethinking How We Use Space

Having spent the better part of the last decade working in communities across the Country on creative public realm placemaking projects, small business support programs and housing advocacy, we’ve learned that there’s a need to enable communities to look at the same spaces they may pass by every day through a new lens. To rethink the space beyond the curb as the exclusive domain of the automobile, to rethink the public park as purely a space for passive recreation, to rethink the alley as purely a space for trash pickup, and to rethink the vacant lot down the street from eyesore, converting it into an economic development engine.

The Walkable Neighborhood Puzzle

We’ve seen the positive impacts that even small scale public realm placemaking projects can have on communities, the impacts that new small business can bring to a community and the impacts that new infill development bring. But we’ve also seen the flaws when these things happen in a silo, the missed opportunities to create lasting, sustainable, positive, change in a place if there was more cross sector collaboration, if all of these elements were working together to create lasting change. The new placemaking projects that are bringing people to a place, exposing visitors to a growing community and changing shopping habits but the lack of a robust small business scene or housing opportunities prevents more permanent actions. The new restaurant that opens in a neighborhood but, due to a lack of foot traffic in the area and a desolate feeling on the streets, is forced to close a year later due to poor business. The proposed real estate development that ran up against neighborhood opposition and didn’t happen at all because of a lack of clear vision among all parties for the future of the walkable neighborhood and the steps necessary to achieve that vision.

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Courtesy: Boston Indicators


Solving these existential issues requires a holistic rethink of how we do things, charting a course for more sustainable, equitable, connected communities of the future. That’s where RE:Main comes in! We’re on a mission to go beyond planning, tapping into the latent power of our walkable neighborhoods; 1) fostering an active public realm, 2) engaging and growing a robust small business ecosystem and, 3) integrating housing abundance that will make these places the engines of connectivity, entrepreneurship, equity, sustainability, local economies and… well sheer joy… for generations to come! 


Join us on this exciting mission... It takes a village!

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