Institutional Planning

Department Mission

Institutional Master Plan review is overseen by a team of project managers and planners. Each institution works closely with a single project manager, who guides the institution through the overall IMP review process as well as review processes for individual campus projects. 

Boston is well-known as a hub of world-renowned universities and hospitals. Many of these facilities are located in the heart of the city’s residential neighborhoods where campus institutional development can have significant effects on the surrounding community. The City created Institutional Master Plan (IMP) Review in order to ensure that the expansion of a hospital or university enhances the institution’s public service and economic development role in the surrounding community and city.

Role at the Agency

As institutions evolve, incremental changes to a campus can add up to a much greater impact on surrounding communities. The process of creating Institutional Master Plans ensures that campus evolution occurs in a thoughtful and transparent manner. An Institutional Master Plan is a comprehensive development plan that describes an institution’s existing facilities, long-range planning goals, and proposed projects. IMPs also identify potential impacts on surrounding communities, and outline proposed community benefits. 

Generally, IMPs are renewed every ten years and reviewed under the BPDA's Article 80 process. In addition, an institution must update, renew, and amend its Institutional Master Plan whenever it adds or changes any project over a minimum threshold. Each of these planned projects will go through its own Article 80 review. 


Project managers help to liaise between institutions and their surrounding communities by facilitating public meetings, dialogues, and task forces related to institutional development.

Draft Policy

In an effort to clarify, streamline and consistently apply Institutional Master Plan review under Section 80D of the Boston Zoning Code for all Boston's institutions, the BPDA has drafted an Institutional Master Plan policy document. Your input and comments are welcomed. Please submit any comments to Marybeth Pyles by email by Friday, February 13, 2015.

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