Urban Renewal


On Wednesday, August 3, 2016 the Commonwealth’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) approved the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s (BRA) request to extend the agency’s urban renewal powers in plan areas that cover over 3,000 acres of the city and include parts of Charlestown, the Fenway, Chinatown, the South End, Roxbury, the Downtown Waterfront, the West End, North Station area, and Government Center. The extension allows the BRA to maintain these powers, which are used for planning and economic development purposes, for another six years, until April 2022.

DHCD’s approval came after the BRA facilitated a robust, year-and-a-half long public engagement process to inform residents about the history of urban renewal and to solicit feedback about the future use of these tools in Boston. This effort included over a dozen community workshops, public meetings before the Boston City Council, and a first-of-its-kind website devoted to urban renewal information and resources.

As a result of stakeholder input, the BRA has created a two-year action plan to improve the level of transparency and accountability with respect to how urban renewal tools are used in Boston. Prior to the 2016 extension, Boston’s urban renewal plans were last reauthorized in 2005 for ten years.

Urban renewal dates back to the American Housing Act of 1949, when the federal government began to invest great sums of money to redevelop cities that were rapidly declining after World War II. Early urban renewal efforts attempted to tackle widespread blight by assembling land to develop massive infrastructure and public facilities, usually at the expense of displacing poor and marginalized residents. Today, urban renewal is used in a much more nuanced manner to help create vibrant neighborhoods.

Background information on the BRA’s 2016 urban renewal extension can be found here.

For additional information and general inquiries, please contact [email protected].

For further information, please contact the Suffolk Registry of Deeds.

Urban Renewal Dashboard

The Urban Renewal Dashboard is utilized to track and view the Land Disposition Agreement details at the LDA and Parcel levels. The data in this map is based on years of meticulous research into the legal agreements and protections that have been put in place related to Urban Renewal areas. The dashboard is designed to show the impact that existing Urban Renewal Areas have and the covenants that are being protected by existing Urban Renewal plans. In this viewer, we have incorporated the critical 302a section of the legal agreements, which describe exactly what is being protected. We also show a level of detail on what is being protected.

Boston City Council Updates

February 13, 2023

March 22, 2022

September 19, 2019

May 10, 2019

October 18, 2018

March 2, 2018

April 10, 2017

September 30, 2016

Recent Community Meetings

Charlestown Urban Renewal Plan Parcel R-11D-2a Public Meeting

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Meeting Video Recording & Presentation

Urban Renewal Community Meeting: Downtown Waterfront Faneuil Hall

Monday, July 26, 2021

Meeting Video Recording & Presentations

Urban Renewal Community Meeting: Park Plaza

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Meeting Video Recording & Presentations

Urban Renewal Community Meeting: Central Business District

Monday, May 17, 2021

Meeting Video Recording & Presentations

Minor Modification to Urban Renewal Plan (South End) Public Meeting

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Meeting Video Recording & Presentation

Urban Renewal Virtual Community Meeting: West End

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Meeting Video Recording & Presentation

Urban Renewal Documents All Related Documents »

Share Your Thoughts

We want to hear from you! All questions, comments and ideas are welcome. Comments are received and reviewed by members of the Urban Renewal team.

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