Massing & Human Scale

Buildings define both their internal and external environments. They define the way the community’s urban outdoor environment looks and feels to people as they walk down the street. As such, new buildings in the downtown should be positioned to support a human scale. Moving building frontage up to the sidewalk in redevelopment areas of the downtown creates a “street wall” that encloses and focuses street and sidewalk activity.

Building height in downtown was discussed a number of times by participants. Keene used to have a denser, much taller downtown, with buildings of 4 to 7 stories in height lining nearly all of Main Street. A combination of 3 to 7 story buildings that emulates the traditional downtown pattern of Central Square would balance the desire to maintain Keene’s small town feel with the goals of focusing development into existing developed areas and respecting Keene's history and the current built environment. This combination should be a goal of future redevelopment.