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
Preliminary Study Area Boundary (subject to change)

初步研究边区位置 (或会更改)

Límite Preliminar del Área de Estudio (Sujeto a cambios)

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

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 #2 | April 24, 2019 at 6:00 PM

The second Advisory Group (AG) meeting for PLAN: Downtown will focus on existing conditions and the character areas. The meeting is open to the public.

Vision Workshop | April 30, 2019 at 6:00–8:00 PM

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) in collaboration with other City of Boston departments invites the Downtown community to participate in the PLAN: Downtown Vision Workshop. The workshop will explore and prioritize draft values & goals for this planning initiative. The event will begin with a brief presentation explaining the PLAN: Downtown initiative. Attendees will then break out into small groups to discuss priorities for the planning initiative.

Advisory Group Meeting #2 | May 22, 2019 at 6:00 PM

The second Advisory Group (AG) meeting for PLAN: Downtown will focus on preservation and growth. The meeting is open to the public.

Advisory Group Meeting #3 | June 20, 2019 at 6:00 PM

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

Advisory Group Meeting #4 | July 17, 2019 at 6:00 PM

The fourth Advisory Group (AG) meeting for PLAN: Downtown will focus on climate and resiliency. The meeting is open to the public.


Previous Events

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 will introduce the planning team and AG members as well as provide an update on the current status of PLAN: Downtown. The meeting is open to the public. 

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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