News & Updates

Mayor Walsh announces RFP for Imagine Boston 2030 Lead Consultant and Outreach Coordinator

Jun 09, 2015

Seeking firms with experience in citywide planning to support initial phase of public engagement

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the release of a Request for Proposals for consulting services to support Imagine Boston 2030, an effort to create Boston’s first citywide plan in fifty years. The RFP calls for a lead consultant as well as public outreach and communications services. The ideal respondent will have experience managing citywide planning projects, including expertise in land use, urban design and comprehensive urban planning. A communications consultant will be tasked with advising on the extensive public engagement and outreach process that will take place over the next two years with residents and community members across the City of Boston.

More information about the RFP is available at Responses will be due no later than noon on July 20, 2015.

“This is the first step in a multi-year process of reimaging Boston and engaging with all residents across the City,” said Mayor Walsh. “Boston is a thriving, healthy and innovative city that can only get better. Through this RFP, we want to establish a partnership that will make work with the city and residents to make Boston stronger, more equitable and more accessible for all."

The RFP accurately reflects the multitude of planning efforts that are currently underway across city departments. The citywide plan generated through Imagine Boston will cover issues related to mobility, housing, land use, prosperity and equity, environment and adaptation, parks and open space, arts and culture, and public health.

Working with subject area experts, the lead consultant will coordinate the diverse, multi-disciplinary team spearheading Imagine Boston. The lead consultant will help the City of Boston define in greater detail the approach, scope and content required for a successful citywide plan. Drawing from experience supporting citywide planning efforts in other locales, the consultant is expected to bring energy, creativity and a breadth of knowledge to engage community members in envisioning the future of Boston while helping City staff meet planning milestones. The lead consultant will also be responsible for supporting the online presence for Imagine Boston. The RFP is deliberately open-ended with regard to specific tasks for the consultant so as to encourage a wide variety of approaches to accomplishing the goals described.

Mayor Walsh has challenged both citizens and city employees to embrace creative public engagement strategies that go beyond traditional community meetings. The outreach consultant will work with the Mayor’s Office, particularly the Chief of Civic Engagement, the Chief of Economic Development, the BRA and other City departments to reach constituents that would not ordinarily attend traditional community meetings. Hearing from non-English speaking populations, economically disadvantaged residents and young Bostonians will be a special priority. The Imagine Boston team hopes to break the mold of traditional neighborhood-focused meetings and plans by fostering a citywide conversation about Boston as a whole, not individualized among neighborhoods.

Before launching an outreach strategy, the City has already begun reaching out to residents to hear how they would like to participate in Imagine Boston 2030. Residents are asked to fill out a short survey, which will help the City and its consultant craft strategies for engagement throughout this process.  

The successful bidder may be a single firm or a lead consultant with one or more firms as sub-consultants. The City of Boston expects that additional consultants will eventually be added to the Imagine Boston team to address specific subject areas that are outside the expertise of the lead consultant.

Mayor Walsh launched Imagine Boston 2030 last month in a speech delivered at Faneuil Hall as part of the Innovative Design Alternatives Summit. Starting with an evaluation of baseline conditions, the City expects to begin a robust public visioning process this fall where community members will be able to contribute ideas to shape Boston’s future. A final citywide plan is expected to be adopted in Summer 2017. For more information and to download a copy of the RFP, click here.

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