Urban Design


The Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC) provides a forum for the general public and professional design community to participate in the shaping of the city's physical form and natural environment. Members of the Commission are seasoned design professionals with a deep understanding of local context. They are charged with critiquing the aesthetics of proposed development projects and ensuring that the projects have a positive impact on the city's public realm. 

The BCDC holds public meetings on the first Tuesday of every month. Interested citizens are invited to participate, and representatives of the Boston Society of Architects and the Boston Society of Landscape Architects regularly attend to share their opinions. 

The BCDC Review Criteria include:

  • new or rehabilitated structures over 100,000 square feet;
  • projects of special significance or projects that, by the determination of the BCDC members, will have a special urban design significance in the City;
  • civic projects involving changes to parks, civic or cultural centers or monuments;
  • and district design guidelines to be adopted by the BPDA. This may include PDAs, IMPs, and certain Planning documents generated to guide development in Boston's neighborhoods.

Design aspects of particular importance to the BCDC include: 

  • design of streets and public walkways, 
  • design of public spaces, 
  • design of buildings, 
  • and protection of the overall character of Boston.
Before presenting to the BCDC, project proponents should review the following documents:

For more information, please contact David Carlson, Deputy Director for Urban Design and Executive Director of the Boston Civic Design Commission, by email or by telephone at 617.918.4284.
  • Boston Planning & Development Agency
  • One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
  • Tel: 617.722.4300  Fax: 617.248.1937
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