the new village square
Civic apps connect neighborhoods, city governments
Shoulder surgery had left Marilyn Bravo, a 65-year-old Jamaica Plain resident, unable to lift more than a gallon of milk this winter. So when the record-breaking snowstorms hit, she planned to look for help shoveling out her car. Bravo posted a request for help on a website called “SnowCrew,” which connects people who need shoveling help with able-bodied volunteers called “Yetis.” About an hour later, a strapping stranger named James was at her door, shovel in hand. “I was never so happy to see anyone in my life,” Bravo remembers. “And later I said to him, ‘You just have no idea what this means to me, you know. This is my freedom. I can get out of the house.’” James returned to help Bravo with two bouts of shoveling this season. Read More
Kendall Square: A report on who's there
Some interesting data from the Kendall Square Association on the composition of that intensely innovative, increasingly expensive neighborhood: The association spent the past 18 months looking at about 770 companies with offices in the Square, and categorizing them by industry sector. Interestingly, biotech and health care companies now represent the biggest single slice. (I touched on this shift in a Globe column last October.) But the research didn't capture every company located within an incubator or a shared office space; the KSA estimates there are about 1,100 businesses in total in the neighborhood. Read More