News & Updates

Planning & Greening Boston in 2011

Jan 12, 2012

  • Brighton Planning StudyKicking off in the summer of 2011, BRA staff worked with Sasaki Consultants and a Mayoral Advisory Group to consider the neighborhood's future development and its potential economic impact.  On January 31st, 2012 the initial draft of the Brighton Planning Study will be presented to the community for review, and a final report will be available for additional public comment in February.
  • Dorchester Avenue Zoning Update - Launched in February, the zoning update looks to unify the neighborhood’s two zoning districts and take steps to ensure that the current momentum and enhancements to Dorchester Avenue are sustained for the future of the corridor.
  • Fairmount Indigo Corridor and Crossroads Planning Initiative - Launched in December, the planning initiative is the City’s largest ever undertaken.  It will focus on improving transit and developing a plan for corridor-wide economic development.  The Boston Foundation awarded the initiative $100,000, and the Garfield Foundation awarded it $30,000.  The BRA will spend $250,000 on the initiative.  In the first quarter of 2012, the Initiative’s RFP will be issued.
  • Hyde Park Planning and Rezoning & Harrison-Albany Corridor Strategic PlanAfter extensive community processes, plans and new zoning were approved by the BRA Board and will change the look of those neighborhoods for years to come.  A resident who engaged in the Harrison-Albany community process noted that, “The BRA was open, inviting, and engaged with this entire process.  They met, or offered to meet, with individuals who were concerned, they brought those concerns to the larger committee, and took the many competing needs into account as they drafted, redrafted, and redrafted again, our exciting new plans for the area.”
  • Waterfront Municipal Harbor Planning - Began its public process to tailor the Commonwealth’s regulations regarding development along Boston's waterfront.  The plan seeks to tailor the regulations to be more appropriate for Boston’s waterfront neighborhoods, regulating height, setback, open space, ground floor use, and determining public access to and around the water’s edge.
  • Urban Agriculture Rezoning - In December, new zoning rules were adopted in Dorchester allowing for two vacant city-owned parcels at 23-29 Tucker Street and 131 Glenway Street to be farmed to provide fresh and healthy food for sale to local neighborhood residents and businesses.  A community process will begin in 2012 to look at updating citywide zoning to encourage urban agriculture.
  • City Hall Plaza -In early 2011, the BRA and the City of Boston’s Department of Environment and Energy completed a study of Boston’s City Hall Plaza which examined options to improve the long-term sustainability of the space while creating a more comfortable landscape with improved access for large and small-scale public events.  Later in the year, the BRA added an additional scope to advance these concepts toward final design in coordination with the MBTA’s Government Center Station modernization and accessibility improvement project.
Greening Boston
  • Boston became a greener city with the openings of its first green warehouse, FW Webb, its first clean tech incubator, Greentown Labs in Boston's Innovation District, and the unprecedentedEnergy Positive “E+” Green Building Demonstration Program, a residential design and construction initiative to bring energy, environmentally, and equity positive green homes to Boston’s neighborhoods.  Developers for the three city owned parcels in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain were announced in December.
  • Hubway, Boston's bike share program, celebrated its inauguration in July.  In just 5 months, 140,000 rides were garnered!  Hubway is the nation's most successful bike share program.  Boston raised its profile as a city for bicyclists with the announcement of an incubator space in the Innovation District launched by Geekhouse Bikes, the expansion of Giant Bicycles in the Fenway, and the City's plans to build over 300 miles of bike lanes and trails.

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