PLAN: Downtown

Study Overview

Over the last decade, Boston’s Downtown has transformed from primarily a business district into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood. Associated with this transformation and the marked increase in development proposals is a clear need to plan for the future of Downtown comprehensively.

Building on past studies, the primary goal of the study will be to develop a new framework for the preservation, enhancement, and growth of the Downtown area of the City of Boston, while balancing the importance of livability, daylight, walkability, climate change, access to open space, affordability, and a dynamic mix of uses, among others. As one of the most diverse places in the City, due in part to its accessibility, it is necessary to encourage growth that is inclusive for all. Supporting a thriving Downtown environment that is responsive to the 21st century needs of residents, businesses, and visitors is critical to Boston’s continued success as an important American city.

PLAN: Downtown Preliminary Study Area Boundary
Study Area Boundary


Límite del Área de Estudio

Advisory Group

As part of the PLAN: Downtown process, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) sought nominations for community members to serve on an Advisory Group (AG).  Members of the AG will assist the City’s planning team in several tasks related to the initiative including:

  • Community outreach efforts
  • Reviewing the consultant’s tasks and their findings
  • Evaluating existing conditions analyses
  • Participating in the development of a vision, goals, and principles for the Future Downtown
  • Assessing development scenarios and their associated impacts
  • Proposing viable recommendations that will ultimately inform new urban design and development guidelines and potential zoning regulations

Advisory Group

Rob Adams Angie Liou
Barbara Boylan Lydia Lowe
Paul Chan Herb Lozano
George Coorssen Beatrice Nessen
Alison Frazee Mary Ann Ponti
Arturo Gossage Seth Riseman
Gilbert Ho Joyce Sanchez
Peggy Ings Rosemarie  Sansone
Jung Shen Kuo Rishi Shukla
Chuck Labins Ann Teixeira
Karen LaFrazia Theresa Tsoi
Suzanne Lavoie Tony Ursillo
Joshua Leffler Jason Wright

Ex-Offico Members

State Representative Aaron Michlewitz
State Senator Joseph Boncore
City Councilor Ed Flynn
Captain Kenneth Fong, Boston Police Department
Roger Mann, Senior Director of Real Estate at the MBTA
Peter Paravalos, Director of Transit-Oriented Development at the MBTA


Latest Update

Advisory Group Meeting #5 | July 17, 2019 at 6:00 PM

The fifth Advisory Group (AG) meeting for PLAN: Downtown will focus on mobility and the public realm. The meeting is open to the public.


Previous Events

Advisory Group Meeting #4 | June 20, 2019 at 6:00 PM | Presentation & Event Documentation

The fourth Advisory Group (AG) meeting for PLAN: Downtown focused on climate and resiliency.

Advisory Group Meeting #3 | May 22, 2019 at 6:00 PM | Presentation & Event Documentation

The third Advisory Group (AG) meeting focused on preservation and growth and the draft goals for PLAN: Downtown.

Vision Workshop | April 30, 2019 from 6:00–8:00 PM | Event Documentation

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) in collaboration with other City of Boston departments invited the Downtown community to participate in the PLAN: Downtown Vision Workshop. The workshop explored and prioritized draft values & goals for this planning initiative. The event began with a brief presentation explaining the PLAN: Downtown initiative. Attendees then broke into small groups to discuss priorities for the planning initiative. Community members who could not attend the Workshop were encouraged to complete an online survey. This survey replicated some of the discussion questions from the PLAN: Downtown Vision Workshop. Responses to this survey are currently being compiled and will be shared anonymously with the Vision Workshop feedback on the project website. 

Advisory Group Meeting #2 | April 24, 2019 at 6:00 PM | Presentation & Event Documentation

The second Advisory Group (AG) meeting for PLAN: Downtown focused on existing conditions and the character areas.

Advisory Group Meeting #1 | March 7, 2019 from 6:00–8:00 PM | Presentation & Event Documentation

The first Advisory Group (AG) meeting for PLAN: Downtown introduced the planning team and AG members as well as provided an update on the current status of PLAN: Downtown.

BPDA Open House—Advisory Group Kick-off | March 7, 2019 from 5:00–6:00 PM

The BPDA welcomes members of the Advisory Group and the public to attend an Open House at the BPDA offices prior to the Advisory Group Meeting #1. 

PLAN: Downtown Open House & Project Kick-off | December 3, 2018 from 4:00–7:00 PM | Presentation & Event Feedback

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Planning Team and other City departments kicked off the PLAN: Downtown on December 3, 2018 from 4–7 pm. The session offered opportunities for visitors to learn about the goals of the Plan, to share ideas for Downtown, and to discover how to participate in shaping the Plan’s outcomes. Over one hundred and twenty residents, workers, business and property owners, students, advocates, and other visitors interested in the future of Downtown Boston attended the Open House.


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