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|Graduate Degree: Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania
Area of interest: Transportation and housing
Agency: City of Somerville, Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development
Supervisor: Lisa Lepore, Director of Infrastructure and Transportation
Project Description: Erick Guerra worked with the City of Somerville’s Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development. He worked directly under the Director of Infrastructure & Transportation, Lisa Lepore, P.E., on a variety of ongoing projects, pertaining to the interrelation between transportation improvements and economic development. He attended and participated in a wide range of regional, state and local meetings to promote bicycle and transit improvements in Somerville and wrote a scope of work for hiring consultants to redesign and improve the Union Square transportation system with a focus on reducing congestion, consolidating bus services, and facilitating biking and walking. He also wrote a scope of work to access a $1 Congressional earmark to be coordinated with the State’s Executive Office of Transportation. This scope detailed responsibilities for potential consultants to prepare access design and engineering to the Inner Belt industrial district, a planning study and engineering for the removal and redesign of the Lower McGrath elevated highway and an economic analysis to determine East Somerville’s competitive advantages and what the City can do to attract growth industries. Each of these three projects, at a different scale and a different stage in the planning process, involved the use of transportation and infrastructure improvements to spark economic development in Somerville. Complimenting this scope, Erick prepared a 40 page planning document including text and graphics to provide background information, to make design recommendations and to suggest potential financing options for a new Inner Belt access road. He found his experience with the City of Somerville and the Rappaport Institute informative and exciting. As he finishes his Master in Urban Planning at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, he plans to maintain his relationship with the City of Somerville and to continue to focus on urban transportation systems, economic development and sustainable, transit-oriented growth patterns.