The Transportation & Infrastructure Planning Department is a core focus of the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s (BPDA) planning practice. The Department’s mission is to plan sustainable and reliable transportation and infrastructure systems while working collaboratively with communities, private sector groups, and other government agencies. Our transportation and infrastructure planning seeks to help neighborhoods maintain their unique characteristics and quality of life.
Role at the Agency
Recognizing the character and quality of Boston's built environment influences how its residents and visitors move throughout the City, we use urban planning and design best practices to plan for a system that advances safety, comfort, and mobility for everyone and connects people to opportunity and one another. We focus on transportation planning for all modes—walking, biking, transit, and automobiles—to ensure that Boston’s future is equitable and environmentally sustainable. We also work to plan infrastructure systems, such as electrical and water utilities, that are smart, environmentally conscious, and resilient.
The lion’s share of our work focuses on:
Reviewing development proposals, including Article 80 projects, to ensure they support neighborhood needs and goals;
Collaborating in citywide and neighborhood planning to support the preservation, enhancement, and growth of neighborhoods;
Implementing Boston’s Complete Street Guidelines and sustainable infrastructure planning and design;
Advocating for City goals and aspirations with partners at state and federal agencies; and
Implementing the Boston Smart Utility Standards and Boston Smart Utilities Policy for Article 80 Development Review.
Our five professional transportation and infrastructure planners collaborate closely with our partners in other City Departments, such as the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) and the Department of Public Works (DPW). Additionally, we partner with state agencies agencies such as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and the Massachusetts Port Authority (MassPort) to plan and implement projects. We also partner with community and neighborhood groups and stakeholders to build consensus around transportation and infrastructure policy, plans, and design.
Boston Smart Utilities Vision
Two years ago, the BPDA Transportation and Infrastructure Planning group and City of Boston launched the Smart Utilities Vision project (“SUV project”), an interdepartmental initiative led by the BPDA aimed toward developing strategies for more equitable, sustainable, affordable, resilient, and innovative utility services in the City of Boston.
The SUV project resulted in two (2) key products for implementation of the new model for utility design, planning, and construction:
The Smart Utilities Policy for Article 80 Development Review—adopted by the BPDA Board on June 14, 2018—calls for five (5) of the ten (10) SUTs studied throughout the SUV project to be incorporated into new Article 80 developments.
The Smart Utility Standards set forth guidelines for planning and integration of SUTs with existing utility infrastructure in existing or new streets, including cross-section, lateral, and intersection diagrams of an ideal layout for underground services in 40’ and 60’ right-of-ways.
For more information about the Boston Smart Utilities Vision, the implementation tools, and the development process, please visit our website at bostonplans.org/smart-utilities.
For more information generally, please contact John (Tad) Read, Senior Deputy Director of Transportation & Infrastructure Planning.