News & Updates

BPDA to host a series of community meetings on urban renewal

Jun 14, 2019

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) announced a series of upcoming community meetings about urban renewal. These meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the urban renewal areas in their neighborhood, and provide input on the future of these parcels.

Phase One includes six community meetings throughout June and July:

  • North Station Urban Renewal Plan Area - Tuesday, June 18 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM at the West End Museum, (150 Staniford Street)
  • Central Business District: School Franklin Urban Renewal Area -- Wednesday, June 19 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM at City Hall, 9th Floor, Room 900
  • Park Plaza Urban Renewal Area - Monday, June 24 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM at the Revere Hotel
  • Brunswick-King Urban Renewal Area - Tuesday, June 25 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM at Grove Hall Community Center
  • Central Business District: Boylston - Essex Urban Renewal Area - Monday, July 15 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM at Revere Hotel
  • Kittredge Square Urban Renewal Area - Tuesday, July 16 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM at Roxbury Community College

Each meeting will include a brief history on urban renewal. Additionally, BPDA staff will be available to outline the Agency’s long-term action plan for urban renewal. All presentations will be posted to the BPDA website. Translation services for presentations and supporting materials can also be made available upon request.

The next phase of meetings will be announced in August of this year.

In 2016, the Commonwealth’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) approved a six-year extension of the Agency’s urban renewal powers, which are seen as an important tool for planning and economic development.

DHCD’s approval came after the BPDA facilitated a year-and-a-half long public engagement process to inform residents about the history of urban renewal and to solicit feedback about the future use of these tools in Boston.

Once again, the BPDA is committed to organizing a comprehensive community process that will focus on the City’s sixteen urban renewal areas, including parts of Charlestown, the Fenway, Chinatown, the South End, Roxbury, the Downtown Waterfront, the West End, the North Station area, and Government Center, and will be executed in three phases.

Urban renewal dates back to the American Housing Act of 1949, when the federal government began to invest great sums of money to redevelop cities that were rapidly declining after World War II. Early urban renewal efforts attempted to tackle widespread blight by assembling land to develop massive infrastructure and public facilities, usually at the expense of displacing poor and marginalized residents. Today, urban renewal is used in a much more nuanced manner to help create vibrant neighborhoods.

For more information, please visit the urban renewal page on our website or contact Christopher Breen, Special Project Manager, at chris.breen@boston.gov or 617-918-4202.

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