May 7, 2013 - The Cecil Group’s Work in Woonsocket Receives a Smart Growth Award
The Cecil Group and the Town of Woonsocket will be recognized in June at the 2nd Annual Rhode Island Smart Growth Awards for their work in authoring the Woonsocket Main Street Livability Plan. Finished in 2013, the plan will be receiving an Outstanding Smart Growth Policies and Plans award. Congratulations also go out to the subconsultants on this project, Fitzgerald & Halliday and Alta Planning + Design. Read more about the project.
April 22, 2013 – Steven Cecil to Teach a Course on Urban Agriculture and the Form of the City at Harvard GSD, July 25-26
Cecil Group Principal, Steven Cecil will be leading a course on urban agriculture and the form of the city through Harvard GSD’s Summer Executive Education session. The course will explore how farming in cities is being incorporated into sustainable building design and neighborhood planning strategies. The two-day program will focus on the practical benefits and issues associated with economically viable production of agricultural products in the context of urban densities and environmental condition. The opportunities and impacts on built form will be discussed, using images and examples drawn from projects being advanced locally, nationally, and internationally. The course will consider the cultural and community dimensions of urban farming, and their implications for the quality of life in towns and cities.
April 18, 2013 – Mentoring Tomorrow’s Landscape Architects
Cecil Group’s Director of Landscape Architecture, Erik Bednarek has spent the past two years mentoring tomorrow’s landscape architects through the ACE Mentoring Program. With a mission to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers within the architecture, construction and engineering fields, this highly recognized program received the Presidential Award from President Barack Obama in 2010 for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Erik spends 2-4 hours per week meeting with high school students and other professional mentors to help guide them through a full design process for a real project. Through 11 weeks of mentoring, the students are able to witness the entire design process and all of the complexities that come along with it including collaborating with other students who are teamed within other disciplines such as architecture, civil and mechanical engineering. “What is really special, is having the opportunity to witness high school students become passionate about a profession and becoming fully engaged in a detailed process and learning a real outcome, says Erik. I was never this engaged in a profession when I was in high school and it’s truly astonishing to see these young adults commit to traveling across the city after school via multiple MBTA stops to be challenged at something they have no previous knowledge about. It’s absolutely exciting and motivating for me as well.”
February 28, 2013 -Steven Cecil and Emily Innes to Host a Walking Tour of Arctic Village, Warwick, RI on April 27, 2013
As part of Preservation Works, the 28th Annual Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference, Principal, Steven Cecil and Assistant Planner, Emily Innes will lead a tour through Arctic Village in Warwick, Rhode Island and speak about their recent neighborhood revitalization planning work in the area. Details.
February 7, 2013 – Steven Cecil to Speak at National American Planning Association Conference, April 17, 2013
Cecil Group President, Steven Cecil will be presenting at the National American Planning Association conference in Chicago on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. This panel discussion will focus on using zoning and design standards to encourage compact development within transit served districts. The Cecil Group’s recently completed transit oriented development master plan and zoning study will serve as one of the case studies for the panel. Learn more.
December 17, 2012 – Gingerbread Decorating at The Cecil Group
View pictures from The Cecil Group’s 2nd Annual Gingerbread Decorating Session.
December 9, 2012 – The Cecil Group Celebrates 20 Years
Today marks the 20th anniversary of The Cecil Group. Take a look at the infographic we compiled to celebrate the firm’s history.
November 1, 2012 – Ken Buckland to Speak at Architecture Boston
Principal, Ken Buckland is participating in a workshop at ArchitectureBoston on Friday, November 16, 2012. He’ll join other experts in sustainable design as they discuss how communities can embrace community design solutions in their master plan, revitalization efforts and development projects. More about the workshop.
November 1, 2012 – Steven Cecil to Speak at Architecture Boston
Principal, Steven Cecil will be participating on a panel at ArchitectureBoston that focuses on urban agriculture and how it influences how we build our cities. He’ll be joined by experts in the field, including Marie Mercurio from Boston Redevelopment Authority who will speak to the city’s rezoning geared to encourage urban agriculture, Diego Angarita from Nuestras Raices who will speak to the environmental considerations when transforming former industrial areas or infill to agriculture uses, and Brandy Brooks from The Food Project who will speak to how urban agriculture to build stronger communities. More about the workshop.
October 31, 2012 – Halloween at The Cecil Group
Every Halloween The Cecil Group puts its design talents to a different medium, the blank canvas of the freshly picked, orange skinned pumpkin. The conference room table quickly fills with moist, slimy pumpkin guts and the air around us takes on the fresh scent of fall. Everyone busily carves out plump pieces of pumpkin flesh and adds some special flourishes (glitter makes everything look better), all in the hopes of impressing the guest judge, a petite, red haired, freckled eight year old whom you can never second guess what design will please her this year. Pictures.
October 2, 2012 – The Lights Go On in Randolph
On October 2, 2012 The Cecil Group was present as the Town of Randolph celebrated a culmination of efforts from the Town, State, community, consultants and contractors to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the streetscape improvements in the downtown. Improvements included new granite curbing, planters, street trees, ornamental tree guards, walkways, brick accent bands, accessible ramps and crosswalks along with curb bump-outs. While all these elements are key to redefining the downtown, the primary focus of this celebration was the unveiling of the ornamental lighting. At approximately 7pm, the new lighting was officially switched on and the new streetscape gleamed. Pictures here.
September 17, 2012 – Cecil Group Workshop 9/20/12: Creating Walkable Communities
What is it that makes you want to stroll a neighborhood? Why do some city centers and town villages draw you to be out on foot? Please join The Cecil Group, Nelson\Nygaard and WalkBoston on September 20th as we envision how Southeastern Massachusetts can transform village and urban areas towards greater walkability. We’ll explore planting trees and other greenery, sidewalks, streetscapes and parking, building designs and vistas for pedestrian centers. More details.
September 5, 2012 – CEO Roundtable Interview with Steve Cecil
The CEO Roundtable recently sat down with Principal Steve Cecil to discuss his views on urban design, what inspired him to begin his practice and how “thinking like a CEO” has helped The Cecil Group weather the recession. Read the interview here.
September 4, 2012 – Cecil Group Workshop 9/25/12 – Achieving Mixed Use: Zoning, Incentives, Design Guidelines
Steve Cecil and Josh Fiala of The Cecil Group and Donald Powers of Union Studio Architects will be leading a workshop on September 25, 2012 at 7 PM for Rhode Island communities on achieving mixed use districts through a number of tools. Details here.
August 7, 2012 – Mayor of Weymouth Presented with The Cecil Group’s Plan for Emery Estate
On August 1, Ken Buckland, Cecil Group Principal, along with the Mayor’s Emery Estate Advisory Committee, presented Weymouth’s Mayor Susan M. Kay with the final report from a planning effort that focused on discovering untapped revenue sources for a town acquired mansion. Read more about the project and see the presentation photo here.
August 1, 2012 – Cecil Group Landscape Design project in Rhode Island Monthly, August 2012 Issue
We’re proud to have our recent landscape design for a private residence in Wickford, Rhode Island included in August’s Rhode Island Monthly. Brewster Thornton Group Architects renovated a weather-worn cottage into a charming Craftsman bungalow, while The Cecil Group designed the surrounding landscape and hardscapes. Read the article and see the photos here.
July 27, 2012 – Connors Pool and Bathhouse Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
The Cecil Group attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly reopened Connors Pool and Bathhouse, a project on which we served as the landscape architects. Governor Deval Patrick had the honor of cutting the ribbon on Thursday, July 26,2012. It was a perfect hot summer afternoon and the pool was filled with people cooling off in the refreshing water. View photos from the celebration here.
July 26, 2012 -Cecil Group Sessions at SNEAPA, September 2012
The Cecil Group has an exciting line-up of presentations at this year’s SNEAPA conference, happening September 20 and 21, 2012 in Hartford, Connecticut. Join Cecil Group Principal Ken Buckland for his I’ll Take a Latte with that Building Permit panel, and Principal Steve Cecil at his panels, New Futures for Traditional Villages: A Balancing Act and Putting Cars in their Place: Walking, Biking and Parking. Click here for more information on SNEAPA or to register for the conference.
June 27, 2012 – Randolph Streetscape Phase III Groundbreaking Ceremony
On June 27, 2012, The Cecil Group attended the Groundbreaking on its third phase of a streetscape design for Randolph, Massachusetts. This phase of the projects covers streetscape design for sections of North Main, Reed and Old Streets. Photo here.
June 15, 2012 – The Cecil Group Chalks One Up with Sidewalk Sam
On the heels of last year’s first place ribbon for our interpretation of the Innovation district’s skyline in chalk, The Cecil Group pulled out all the stops (like making our own chalk) to create a compelling graphic to express this year’s theme – Off the Grid. A team of 11 headed out to Dewey Square in Boston for a sun filled June afternoon of chalk drawing. Together, we collaborated to turn power into flowers, for a simple, yet powerful message in chalk. View the photos here.
June 7, 2012 – Steve Cecil Presents an Innovative Zoning Session at MAPD
Cecil Group Principal, Steve Cecil joined David Spitz, Town Planner for Harwich and Jonathan Tucker, Planning Director for Amherst to speak about innovative zoning proposals at the Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors conference in Springfield, Mass.
March 27, 2012 – Steve Cecil to Present at What is Pedestrian Friendly on April 5, 2012
Steve Cecil, Principal of The Cecil Group will be part of a panel presenting ideas and lessons learned on how to make downtowns more pedestrian friendly.
Date: April 5, 2012
Time: 9:00 am- 2:30 pm (Lunch provided)
A key component to a successful downtown or town center is walkability. Communities
continue to strive to make their downtowns “pedestrian friendly”. The reality of pedestrian friendly is much more than attractive streets. The concept involves increasing awareness about the fun and health of walking, being able to park once to shop and do errands throughout town, and promoting the regulations and tools to make the streetscape and built environment support walkability. This workshop will bring together 3 consultants that understand the total concept of creating a pedestrian friendly downtown or town center and how to comprehensively plan to make it all come together. Wendy Landman Executive Director from WalkBoston, Jason Schrieber of Nelson/Nygaard and Steve Cecil of The Cecil Group will present how pedestrian friendly translates in terms of getting people to walk, how parking supports walking and how to design an environment that people want to
December 16, 2011 – Honored with Two More Planning Awards
This past December, Principals Steve Cecil and Ken Buckland, along with Associate Josh Fiala attended the Massachusetts Chapter APA Awards luncheon where two Cecil Group projects received awards. We were honored to have our work in Marlborough on the town’s Economic Development Master Plan awarded a Planning Project award, and our years of successful community revitalization work as part of the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Massachusetts Downtown Initiative program awarded a Comprehensive Planning award. We share both these awards with the many other firms and individuals that made this work a reality.
November 10, 2011 – The Cecil Group’s Build Boston Lineup
This year we’re happy to have three Cecil Group staff members presenting sessions at the annual Build Boston Conference in Boston’s Seaport District. Principal Ken Buckland will be presenting Municipal Facilities Plans: Strategies for Success on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 6 PM, Principal Steve Cecil will be presenting Transit-oriented Development: Boston, the Region and Beyond on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 1 PM and Director of Landscape Architecture Erik Bednarek will be presenting Community Sustainability: The Big Picture on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 8:30 am. Click here for more information about Build Boston or to register.
October 31, 2011 – The Cecil Group’s Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest
At The Cecil Group we put our skills to more than just making our cities and towns better places to live. We’re also quite creative in pumpkin carving. Check out the photos from our annual Pumpkin Carving contest, where everyone gathers together and gets one hour to carve their masterpiece. This year’s winner was Steve Cecil, with his 3-dimensional interpretation of our guest judge’s Greek goddess costume. See the photos.
October 7, 2011 – The Cecil Group Presents a Form Based Code Workshop
Steve Cecil and Ken Buckland, Principals at The Cecil Group will be presenting a workshop on form-based codes and other emerging tools to shape downtowns and mixed-use districts on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
Form- based zoning is emerging as a useful method for addressing design and development of buildings in downtowns. Other tools include design review in historic districts, TOD districts, and using 40R. This workshop will describe emerging tools to help shape the design quality of both new development and
adaptive reuse to create the cohesive and vital environments that are key to successful districts. The morning session will focus on form-based codes and the planning techniques that are used to create regulations that merge land use controls and design standards. The afternoon session will explore other methods for physically shaping development to enhance value and the design quality of projects and places. The seminar will include descriptions of Amherst’s current initiative to create form-based zoning districts for two villages as one of the case studies for discussion.
Date: October 27, 2011
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Where: Amherst Town Hall, Amherst, MA 01002
Registration information can be found here.
October 3, 2011 – The Cecil Group at SNEAPA
Cecil Group Principal Steve Cecil will be participating in a panel focusing on design review at this year’s SNEAPA Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. The panel takes place on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 9:15 am.
Design Value That Sticks: Practical Experience with Mandatory and Advisory Design Review
Hear about the practical experiences of programs and communities with mandatory or advisory design review. The session will cover methods that have worked (and some that have not) to overcome challenges and resistance to design review in communities of all sizes. Learn how to make the design review process successful in meeting public goals.
- Tim Sheehan, Executive Director, Norwalk Redevelopment Agency
- Elizabeth Hahn, Program Manager, Massachusetts Downtown Initiative
- David Carlson, AIA, AICP, Executive Director, Boston Civic Design Commission
- Steven D. Cecil, AIA, ASLA, President, The Cecil Group
September 1, 2011 – The Cecil Group Clambake
View photos from our end of summer outing.
August 15, 2011 – The Canvas is no Longer Blank
View photos of our new entry wall installation.
June 16, 2011 – The Cecil Group up to its Elbows in Chalk
The Cecil Group team spent a couple of beautiful sunny hours putting their skills in urban design, architecture, and graphic design together to translate the Fort Point skyline into a skillfully crafted chalk drawing. View the photos and watch the transformation. Click to see the photos.
June 10, 2011 – Ken Buckland Moderates a Panel at MAPD
Cecil Group Principal, Ken Buckland moderated a session on RFPs and Contracts: Public and Private Sector Perspectives at the Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors (MAPD) Conference on June 10, 2011.
The Massachusetts procurement law under Chapter 30B and its recent amendments directly affects procurement of services by towns and cities – and the consultants who service those cities and towns. This session will provide experts on c.30B to present their thoughts on dealing with the same law from both the public sector and private sector perspectives.
March 31, 2011 – ArtsBoston BosTix Booth Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Having a client in the arts business makes one thing certain – a great ribbon cutting ceremony. From Mayor Menino to Keith Lockhart to Grandma the Clown and so many characters in between, it was an afternoon of fun as The Cecil Group ushered in its newest building to Faneuil Hall. Enjoy these photos and make sure not to skip the cake replica.
March 30, 2011 - Principal, Ken Buckland to Speak at Residential Design and Construction
Cecil Group Principal, Ken Buckland will be speaking at Boston’s Residential Design and Construction conference along with Diane Georgopulos of MassHousing. Details below:
Design review for 40B projects
Friday, April 29 | 10:30 am–12:00 noon | CR
The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) and the Department of Housing and Community Development commissioned The Cecil Group to develop a handbook for Chapter 40B Project Design Review. The handbook explains how design is considered in the Chapter 40B review process, which subsidizing agencies use to evaluate building and site design of applications for project eligibility. This technical-assistance manual presents the steps of design review and explains an approach to resolution when the proposed design conflicts with the project context. Learn about the design-review regulations and standards, the process that the agencies use to review projects and the handbook.
Kenneth Buckland AICP, LEED AP, The Cecil Group
Diane Georgopulos FAIA, MassHousing
Register here to attend Residential Design and Construction. The above session is number B7 under the housing workshops track.
December 15, 2010 – The Cecil Group Honored with Two Planning Awards
The Cecil Group was honored to receive two outstanding planning awards from the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association for projects in Boston and Lee, Massachusetts. The firm was recognized, along with its clients and project team members at the MA APA annual awards luncheon held this past Friday.
The first award was for the work the firm did for MassDevelopment on the Lee Eagle and Laurel Mills redevelopment studies. This project was led by firm Principal, Kenneth Buckland.
The second award was for a study of the Rutherford Avenue corridor in Boston. The Cecil Group served as the urban designer on a larger project team led by Tetra Tech Rizzo.
December 08, 2010 – The Cecil Group Names Two New Associates
The Cecil Group is pleased to announce it has promoted two individuals to Associates of the firm, Joshua Fiala AIA LEED AP and Valerie Conyngham. Josh is a talented architect and urban designer and brings a strong project leadership to all of his assignments. Valerie serves as the firm’s business and marketing manager and is responsible for overall firm success and directing its marketing strategy. Please join us in congratulating these two deserving individuals for this wonderful achievement.
October 13 2010 – Steve Cecil Keynotes WTS Transportation Mini Series
Steve Cecil, Principal of The Cecil Group was the Keynote Speaker for the Connecticut Valley Chapter of Women in Transportation’s Mini Series,which was held October 14, 2010. His talk touched upon how some of Connecticut’s towns and cities are planning for and encouraging multi-modal transportation. He shared the experiences of The Cecil Group’s work in the Town of Stratford and City’s of New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford and New London in developing sustainable design plans for future development within their downtowns and incorporating the area’s history, how businesses and residents function and the various modes of transportation.
October 06 2010 – The Cecil Group Welcomes Erik Bednarek
The Cecil Group is pleased to welcome Erik Bednarek RLA to our growing team of senior professionals. Erik will lead The Cecil Group’s Landscape Architecture and Land Planning practice areas. His background and experience complement The Cecil Group’s design staff and extensive landscape and streetscape portfolio. He was previously Principal of EJB Designs and a Landscape Architect for VHB. In addition to his previous work on public and institutional projects, Erik brings a diverse clientele and experience in landscapes for residential projects, homes, and commercial clients.
September 27 2010 – Introducing our New Website
It’s with great excitement that we unveil our new website to you. Aside from an updated look, the new website features a powerful new way to sift through our portfolio of projects, making it easier for you to better understand our wide range of services and capabilities. You’ll be able to sift by project category (architecture, urban design, community planning, etc) and dig deeper into project type (waterfront planning, transit-oriented development, campus master plans, etc).
In addition, we’ve added a news section in order to bring you better/fresher content, update you on new and exciting things happening at The Cecil Group, and share with you fun things we’re up to as a firm. If you don’t follow us on Twitter, you’ll be able to see our new tweets in the lower left hand corner of most pages of the website and we’re providing links our past issues of Plan Views on the site for quicker access. We think you’ll like the new look and we’re sure you’ll like the improved navigation and fresher information.