Quincy’s planning director has been elected to an oversight board for a planning agency that seeks to aid in growth and community collaboration around the region.
According to a release, Dennis Harrington will serve on the Executive Committee of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, after being elected to the spot on Feb. 29 at the council’s winter meeting.
Serving 101 cities and communities within metropolitan Boston, the organization is governed by representatives from each city and town in the region as well as gubernatorial appointees and several members of public agencies.
As a whole, the organization hopes to steer communities toward smart planning and intraregional initiatives. The Executive Committee oversees those operations.
Harrington was familiar to the council, having worked with it on a number of initiatives during his tenure as Quincy's planning director.
According to a release, Quincy has worked with MAPC over the past several years on its bicycle rack procurement project, obtaining over 100 bicycle racks for installation throughout the city. The cost of the racks was reimbursed to the city by MAPC.
Additionally, the city has looked to the MAPC to create “Smart Growth” policies. As such, the City Council has adopted the MAPC Boston Region’s Pedestrian Transportation Plan 2010.
“The city is benefitting from an ongoing MAPC Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning Network project with the Boston Consortium for Sustainable Communities that includes Quincy in their regional study on connectivity,” the release said.
Quincy is also working with MAPC on a minority outreach program to be centered in North Quincy. Furthermore, the city plans to participate in the organization’s regional Climate Adaptation and Sea Level Rise initiative.
Harrington has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Boston College, and received his Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law, and is admitted to the Massachusetts and federal bars. He is a former assistant district attorney (1969-1973), former Quincy city councilor (1974-1977), and served as assistant city solicitor for Quincy from 1978-1981.
Prior to being appointed planning director in 2004, Harrington was a practicing attorney for 21 years, specializing in real estate development law.
“In his role as Planning Director, Mr. Harrington has promoted greater involvement of Quincy to various state and regional organizations that influence planning policy and federal and state funding priorities. It is in the best interest of the City of Quincy to have a voice on the Executive Committee representing cities in the MAPC region,” a statement said.
Harrington is excited about the appointment, for which he will have to seek re-election for in the fall.
"It’s a good way for me to interact with the major communities involved in MAPC," Harrington said. "It was nice to get elected, I’m happy; it gives me an insider seat with some decision making, and puts Quincy in a better position with the regional planning authorities than it's been for more than a decade."
Harrington’s department will be submitting a grant application to MAPC for a feasibility and funding study on “Cool Roofs” under their Sustainable Cities program.