PLAN: Downtown

Study Outline

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 we embark on PLAN: Downtown, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) are seeking 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

Through the planning process, AG members and the Downtown community at-large will explore issues related to the preservation, enhancement, and growth of Downtown Boston within the context of past planning studies and the recent transformation of the district into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood. The Plan will include the area roughly bound by State and Court Streets, the John F. Fitzgerald Surface Road, the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), and the Boston Common and will not include land governed by an existing Institutional Master Plan (IMP), such as the Tufts Medical Center. Please see the preliminary study area map for more information.

The AG should be a diverse representation of the interests of the Downtown Boston community. Nominations should include those with knowledge about the local community, such as local residents (including both renters and owners), local business owners, property owners, workforce employees, students, and local advocacy groups; as well as those with technical expertise including architects, planners, and both for-profit and non-profit developers.

Nominees should be available to commit to attending both public workshops and intermediary AG meetings from early 2019 through mid-2020. Each meeting is expected to last approximately 90 minutes, and a schedule of the frequency and the location of these meetings will be discussed at the first AG meeting. Additional information regarding AG roles and responsibilities and the AG nomination form can be found below.

Please return completed nomination forms to the BPDA via email ( or mail (Kennan Rhyne, Boston Planning & Development Agency, 1 City Hall Square, 9th floor, Boston, MA 02201) by Friday, December 14, 2018, at 5:00 PM. We look forward to working with you and the Downtown Boston community.

Call for Advisory Group Nominations (English)

接受 諮詢小組成員 提名

Advisory Group Nomination Form (English)


Latest Update

We will post all the latest updates and scheduled meetings here.

Previous Events

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