Newton, North Newton launch planning drive

The cities of Newton and North Newton have created the ReNewton Project, an effort to develop a joint comprehensive plan for regional growth over the next two decades.

This year, residents will be asked to work together at public meetings and in online discussions to produce a list of priorities to guide public officials. The issues covered will include infrastructure, zoning, utilities, transportation, commercial development and housing, parks and recreation, technology, sustainability, health care and schools.

A long-term growth plan will help city leaders develop marketing pitches to recruit new industries and residents.

"The eventual final product is extremely important in guiding our decisions over the next 20 years," said Newton Mayor Racquel Thiesen. "But just as important as the final outcome is the process itself. For community planning to be its most effective, we need to hear from our citizens _ what they like, don't like, what they dream of, what they fear."