Divide and Prosper : Division Street the Next Frontier to Enliven

Contractors engaged by the City of Chelsea will repave the length of Division Street this August, providing a major facelift to an alley that parallels Broadway through the downtown.

Leveraging this work, Chelsea Prospers, the City of Chelsea’s downtown initiative, is overseeing a public art project in the area. Working with the Downtown Coordinator, Neighborways Design is facilitating a community artmaking process to create and install public art and other improvements to beautify and activate the first block of Division Street between Hawthorne and Fourth streets.

This is the first important step to link the heart of downtown with the waterfront via a low-stress “Neighborway” street.

Neighborways in other parts of the country are known as neighborhood greenways or bicycle boulevards. Designed for low-traffic and low-speed, they are a child- and elder-friendly and engaging way to get around the city. Through public art the goal is to increase the safety of people walking and on bikes to make this street passageway an area where people, not just cars, feel welcome.  

The long-term plan is to tackle Division Street block by block, bringing additional public art each summer all the way to the waterfront.  

The art for the alley will be designed and implemented by local residents, retailers and building tenants who get to know each other through involvement in the design process and participation in creating the art and other treatments in the alley.

Throughout the summer the team of Neighborways Design is meeting with stakeholders at public events and in small groups to develop a design concept. Public artist Liz Lamanche is then synthesizing and refining these ideas into a cohesive design.

Contribute ideas to the design by visiting the Neighborways outreach table at the Chelsea Night Market on Saturday, Aug. 10. The team will be on hand between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. In case of rain the event will be rescheduled to Aug. 17.

The Community Painting Day to execute the design is scheduled for Saturday, August 24, starting at 9 a.m. when all are invited to execute the design.

In case of rain, the event will be held the following day on Sunday, August 25.

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