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This is the website for the City of Boston’s new Planning Department, which launched on July 1. The staff and many responsibilities of the Boston Planning & Development Agency have moved to the Planning Department of the City of Boston including planning & zoning, urban design, development review, and real estate divisions. Please excuse any misalignment you may see on our site as we transition to the City. Learn more

Welcome! 欢迎! 歡迎! ¡Bienvenido! Byenvini!

Squares + Streets is a new planning and zoning initiative that will focus on housing, public space, small businesses, arts and culture, and transportation in neighborhood centers and along main streets.

Sign up for the Planning Department newsletter on our Get Involved page to stay informed about upcoming plans and select neighborhood-specific newsletters for updates on the Roslindale Square and Cleary Square planning processes.

Squares + Streets seeks to achieve the following goals:

  • Update zoning to support mixed-use development and better allow for a diverse range of housing and commercial opportunities
  • Preserve, enhance, and produce affordable housing, retail, and cultural spaces through policy, design, and funding resources
  • Coordinate local transportation and public space improvements to increase accessibility and promote active forms of transportation
  • Identify capital and program investments across City departments to signal coordinated investment in these geographies
  • Identify specific design interventions to expand tree coverage, mitigate heat, prepare for an electric future, and otherwise advance climate resilience

What are Squares + Streets?

Squares + Streets is a planning and zoning initiative focused on adding, supporting, and improving housing, public space, small businesses, and arts and culture in transit-accessible neighborhood centers and along main streets.

Squares + Streets zoning amendments will be one of the first steps toward shaping citywide zoning reform to respond to an ongoing housing crisis. Squares + Streets plans will focus on small geographies and recommendations that can be implemented within 5-10 years.

We have heard from community members that they would like a better sense of what places around the city may be considered for the Squares + Streets initiative. In response to that feedback, we are sharing a list of neighborhood centers and main streets around the city that may be eligible for Squares + Streets zoning after a community process. Those locations include:

  • Allston Village
  • Roslindale Square
  • Brighton Center
  • Cleary Square
  • Cleveland Circle
  • Codman Square + Four Corners
  • Egleston Square
  • Fields Corner
  • Forest Hills
  • Grove Hall
  • Hyde Park Ave
  • JP Centre
  • Mattapan Square
  • Packard’s Corner
  • Tremont Street (Mission Hill)
  • Upham’s Corner
  • West Roxbury Centre
  • Squares and Streets will focus on centers of activity in neighborhoods.

    Squares + Streets will focus on centers of activity in neighborhoods

How Will Updated Zoning be Applied to Squares + Streets?

Zoning is a set of laws to guide development and determine what types of buildings are allowed and where, including how buildings are allowed to be situated on their parcel of land. In the case of Squares + Streets, zoning can be specifically used to encourage housing growth and diverse amenities in neighborhoods.

The Planning Department's Zoning Reform team drafted a zoning amendment with community input to create new regulations for Squares + Streets districts. The zoning amendment proposes five distinct new zoning districts that will serve as a range of options. The team will work with the public and stakeholders to determine which combination of these new zoning district options best meets the needs and vision for each area.

Learn more about Squares + Streets zoning reform on the Zoning Initiatives page.

Get Involved!

To get involved in Squares + Streets plans, you can:

Share Your Thoughts

We want to hear from you! All questions, comments and ideas are welcome. Comments are received and reviewed by members of the Squares + Streets team.

To submit a comment in a language besides English, please email [email protected].
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