News & Updates

BRA Wins American Planning Association Awards

Dec 16, 2011

We are pleased to announce that the American Planning Association’s-Massachusetts Chapter (APA-MA) has awarded the BRA two top honors.  Several staff members were awarded the Chapter President Award for their work on the APA’s annual conference held in Boston in 2011 and the Comprehensive Planning Award for their work on the Columbia Point Master Plan.  The award was presented at the 2011 APA-MA/Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors Annual Awards and Holiday Luncheon held December 16.  They will also be featured in an upcoming issue of the APA-MA chapter e-newsletter New England Planning. BRA staff’s work on the APA’s annual conference included the development of a 3-hour bus tour orientation guide of Boston’s neighborhoods, the creation of numerous walking tours with an associated tour book highlighting detailed planning information along the route, and they hosted more than 20 tours and charettes on topics like Reinventing Downtown Neighborhoods for the 21st Century, Revitalizing Neighborhoods through Affordable Housing, and the Boston Art Museum Renaissance for conference attendees. The Comprehensive Planning Award was awarded for work on the Columbia Point Master Plan, given to honor a plan, program, or process of unusually high merit. The Columbia Point Master Plan creates a new vision for Dorchester’s Columbia Point peninsula, calling for a mix of uses balancing residential and non-residential development to create a vibrant, 18-hour a day neighborhood with ground floor restaurants and shops to enliven new “main streets.” The Master Plan focuses on six large properties that are likely to be redeveloped during the Plan’s 25-year timeframe and envisions a community where tall buildings, up to 17 stories, are concentrated around the nearby JFK/UMass T station and step down to 4 stories as they move into the neighborhood.  It introduces a walkable street grid to weave Columbia Point back into the Boston landscape and establishes view corridors to the Dorchester Bay. The Master Plan also addresses socioeconomics by including a range of housing types and an objective that 20% of new housing be affordable to households earning below 80% of the area-wide median income, as well as an objective that 30% of all new housing be ownership housing.  Full build out of the Plan will allow approximately 6.3 million square feet of development, with a mix of uses The APA-MA's awards program, the state’s highest honor for planning professionals, is a proud tradition established years ago to recognize outstanding comprehensive plans, planning programs and initiatives, public education efforts, and individuals for their leadership on planning issues. These efforts help create communities and neighborhoods of lasting value throughout Massachusetts.

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