Green Line Challenge

Submissions to the Green Line Challenge are closed. Congratulations to the winner of the Green Line Challenge, Phil Wright, for his idea: New Public Gardens top

inTeractive Somerville Green Line Challenge
Below are the 11 ideas submitted and how they finished in the final score
  1. New Public Gardens
  2. Proposed Mixed Use
  3. Transportation Museum
  4. Mixed Use, Practical Financing
  5. Glass Building Concept with Tunnel Station
  6. Somerville Bazaar
  7. Reuse Homans Building, Arcade and Mixed Use
  8. Education Center
  9. New Recreational Spot for Somerville
  10. "bring me the youth. bring me the culture"
  11. Convert the Homan building to a community center and cafe

The Gilman Square Green Line Train Station is slated to be constructed directly to the left of the Homans Building1. The challenge is to come up with the best idea to improve the area where the Homans Building is currently located.

There are 4 Big Steps:

  1. Sign up
  2. Submit your Idea by January 9
  3. Rate Ideas and Designs by January 15
  4. Check back to see who won the Green Line Challenge on January 16

The winner of the Challenge will receive 3 one-month T passes, donated by the MBTA.

The designs and ideas submitted for this challenge will not be endorsed, and are not affiliated with MassDOT, MBTA, MAPC or City of Somerville. They are for the purpose of coming up with creative solutions on how the Homans Building and the Gilman Square area might be improved.

Quick Links

Visualizing the Location

Visualizing the Location - Photo Slideshow

Visualizing the Location - Take a Tour

Here is a Google Street Map showing the location. You can use map below to visit the area to help inform your idea.

View Larger Map

Visualizing the Location - 3D

To help you visualize the location we encourage you to watch the video below by Open Neighborhood. Open Neighborhood is a project of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. inTeractive Somerville has been partnering with Open Neighborhood since 2009 to explore how immersive, 3-D modeling can improve community planning around the Gilman Square Station area.


Idea Considerations

Homans Building Area

Core Community Principles

The following is a summary of "themes" were taken from the 11 Core Community Principles. Please consider how your idea and design contributes to each of the Core Community Principles:


Submitting Ideas and Designs

You may submit your "idea" as a design with text supporting why your idea should be implemented. We ask that you please consider how your idea and design contributes to each of the Core Community Principles for Neighborhood Development along the Green Line Corridor - our website "Themes."Below are the steps:

  1. Sign up and create an account
  2. Click Share something! (on top navigation bar)
  3. Select the Idea tab
  4. Enter the address (350 Medford St, Somerville, MA) below the map or click and drag the arrow on the map on the Homans Building
  5. Add your description - start with text: Green Line Challenge: [your title].
    We recommend that you prepare your description in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, then copy & paste.
    You can also email PDF files to us at
  6. Select Related Station: Gilman Square
  7. Select Related Theme: [select theme most closely related to your idea]
  8. Click Submit

Only one idea can be submitted per individual. Group submissions are not permitted. Please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for more information.


Contest Time Frame

The contest will officially open for design submissions on November 14, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. EST. Designs may be submitted until January 9, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST, after which new designs will not be accepted. We will calculate the ratings and announce a winner on January 16, 2012 - MLK Day.


Rate Ideas

Designs may be rated at any time during the contest time frame. To rate a design, you must be logged into the site.

We use a 5 star rating system, one vote per idea for each registered user. The total rating score is an algorithm that includes the number of votes, average rating (number of stars) and how many of the Core Community Principles your idea could potentially encompass.

Cheating and malicious conduct on this website will not be tolerated. Please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for more information.

You have until Sunday, January 15th 11:59 PM EST to vote. We will calculate the ratings at that time and announce the winner on January 16, 2012 - MLK Day.



The winning person will be awarded 3 T passes for February, March and April (a value of nearly $180) donated by the MBTA.



Google Sketchup

Once you’ve got your ideas on paper, you are welcome to utilize digital tools to help you enhance your design further. Google Sketchup is a 3D modeling tool that is very easy to use, and free. Click the link below to download Google Sketchup.

Download Google Sketchup

Google Sketchup step-by-step guide showing you the easiest way to create photo-textured 3D models for Google Earth.

Google Building Maker

Below is a 3D image of the Homans Building from the Google 3D Warehouse. You can create your own 3D building (at the Homans Building site) with Google Building Maker.

Google Earth

Google Earth can be use with Google Sketchup. It lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, and 3D buildings. Download Google Earth, search for your city and make sure the "3D Buildings" layer is turned on.


Press and Links

For more links, see our links page.



If you have further questions about this site, or the contest, please contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!



  1. (During a community planning workshop in July the Homans Building was the most popular topic and area of concern for community residents).
  2. Reuse of buildings is generally a Core Principle; however, it also depends on a number of factors such as safety and economic viability. For the Challenge, based on reports there is a strong likelihood the Homans Building will be demolished for a new development - we recommend you consider this before submitting your idea and design.