News & Updates

Thank you Kairos Shen

May 22, 2015

By Brian Golden, Director of the BRA/EDIC
Two weeks ago, Mayor Walsh took the stage at historic Faneuil Hall to announce Imagine Boston 2030, a new campaign to create Boston’s first citywide plan in fifty years. It was fitting that such a momentous announcement took place at our city’s most storied venue.

Boston is undeniably on the rise. $815 million in new development broke ground in just the first quarter of this year. And there is an astonishing $12 billion worth of approved new development projects in the pipeline. The challenge for us today is to harness this energy so that we ensure that our neighborhoods and the city as a whole remain thriving, healthy, and innovative for generations to come. Proactive and robust planning will be the key to our success.
For the last thirteen years as Director of Planning, Kairos Shen, who has been with the Boston Redevelopment Authority for nearly twenty-two years in total, diligently shepherded a wave of planning initiatives that led to the sweeping transformations now taking place in the Fenway, Allston-Brighton, Dudley Square, and the South Boston Waterfront. Having served two mayoral administrations and seven directors of the BRA, Kairos has played an essential role in shaping one of the most positive periods of growth in Boston’s history. The impact of his work is evident both downtown and in every neighborhood of the city. We thank him for dedicating so much of his career to the well-being of Boston and its people.
As we embark on an effort to develop a new citywide plan, I believe that it’s an appropriate time to bring in a fresh set of eyes to lead this work on behalf of the BRA and the Walsh administration.

On an interim basis, I have asked John “Tad” Read to assume the role of Acting Director of Planning. Tad, a Senior Planner who has been with the agency since 2007, will become Acting Director upon Kairos’ departure at the end of May. Tad will have all of the responsibilities, decision-making authority, and, on occasion, the headaches, that come with being planning director for a city as complex as Boston. He and Kairos will work together to coordinate a smooth transition.

During his time with the BRA, Tad has led or been involved in several neighborhood planning and master planning projects, including the development of urban agricultural zoning, the Columbia Point Master Plan, and the Melnea Cass Boulevard Design Project. More recently, Tad has been a key player in the team spearheading Imagine Boston. Prior to working in Boston, Tad served as the City of Santa Monica’s Housing Administrator and helped to develop general plans for cities in southern California. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, a Master’s in Architecture and Urban Planning from UCLA, and a Master’s in Design Studies from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Shortly, we will begin a national search to identify candidates and a successor to serve as the BRA’s next Director of Planning.
Transitions such as this can be challenging, but they also present opportunities. As we thank Kairos and reflect on his many years of service, we also look ahead to creating a vision for Boston, one that sets the city up for continued success.

Boston’s future, like that of Kairos, remains bright.

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