CityOfBoston Official An official website of the City of Boston

This is the website for the City of Boston’s new Planning Department, which launched on July 1. The staff and many responsibilities of the Boston Planning & Development Agency have moved to the Planning Department of the City of Boston including planning & zoning, urban design, development review, and real estate divisions. Please excuse any misalignment you may see on our site as we transition to the City. Learn more

At a Glance

South Boston spreads across a peninsula just south of Downtown Boston and east of the South End and Dorchester.  South Boston was annexed by Boston in 1804, and the city constructed a bridge linking the neighborhood with the rest of the city the following year.  In the mid-19th century, the Old Colony Railroad brought rapid growth to South Boston as the area became a hub of industry, including iron foundries, machine shops, shipyards and refineries, all of which fueled the Civil War effort. Throughout the twentieth century, shipyard, and railroad jobs continued to provide work for South Boston residents, and industrial buildings still mark the northern edge of the peninsula.

South Boston is home to both long-time residents and a new wave of young professionals who are drawn to the area’s open space, emerging nightlife, and easy access to downtown. The neighborhood boasts miles of beaches and waterfront parks, including Carson Beach, L Street Beach, Pleasure Bay, and the Strandway. 

South Boston’s commercial district, including established businesses alongside new bars, restaurants, and retailers, is built around East and West Broadway. Newmarket Square, just to the west of Route 93, is a strong center of food processing and distribution and borders Dorchester, Roxbury, and the South End. The West Broadway Neighborhood Association and Newmarket Business Association support area business owners. 

Community Engagement Managers

The Community Engagement Managers (CEM) of the Planning Department are responsible for assisting staff members with the coordination of all outreach in regard to planning initiatives and proposed development in Boston's neighborhoods. CEMs work to ensure each Planning Department external process actively reflects the community's goals, in addition to being the point of contact for constituent questions. Have questions about a certain project in your neighborhood? Feel free to reach out them:


Mark McGonagle

Deputy Director of Community Engagement

Department: Communications


Allston, Brighton, Dorchester, South Boston


Naoise McDonnell

Community Engagement Manager

Department: Communications


Newmarket Study Area


For information about planning context, zoning, or Planning Department processes, please contact [email protected].