At a Glance

The historic neighborhood of Back Bay is situated along the Charles River, adjacent to Downtown and the Public Garden. Back Bay was built on filled tidal marshes in the mid-1800s and added 450 acres to the City. Today Back Bay is known for its elegant architecture and bustling commercial streets.

Stately Victorian row houses and brick sidewalks mark the residential streets of the area, including Beacon Street, Marlborough Street, and Commonwealth Avenue. The Commonwealth Avenue Mall and Paul Dudley White Bicycle Path offer recreational opportunities, while the riverside Esplanade and Hatch Shell feature concerts and festivals. Back Bay is also home to the finish line of the world-renowned Boston Marathon.

Several thriving commercial spines run through the neighborhood. Newbury Street is known for its international retailers, salons, boutique offices, and restaurants. The Newbury Street League supports business owners along the street. Boylston Street, St. James Street, and Huntington Avenue are lined with national and local retailers, high-end hotels, restaurants, and office buildings. The iconic John Hancock and Prudential Towers can be seen from miles away, and the Hynes Convention Center attracts numerous meetings and conferences to its unique location in the heart of the city. The Back Bay Association supports business throughout the neighborhood. 

Community Engagement Managers

The Community Engagement Managers (CEM) of the BPDA are responsible for assisting staff members with the coordination of all outreach in regard to planning initiatives and proposed development in Boston's neighborhoods. CEMs work to ensure each BPDA external process actively reflects the community's goals, in addition to being the point of contact for constituent questions. Have questions about a certain project in your neighborhood? Feel free to reach out them:


Christine Brandao

Community Engagement Manager

Department: Communications


Allston, Back Bay, Chinatown, North Dorchester, Downtown, West Roxbury


For information about planning context, zoning, or BPDA review processes, please contact [email protected].