News & Updates

Boston Planning & Development Agency selects AECOM to carry out Smart Utilities Vision

Oct 24, 2016

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) awarded the Smart Utilities Vision contract to AECOM this September. The Smart Utilities Vision is a collaborative study between city government and Boston’s utility companies that will offer a new model for integrated planning among energy, transit, water, and communications utilities. By improving coordination among utilities, the Vision aims to make urban districts more affordable, resilient, connected, and sustainable.

AECOM has partnered with General Electric (GE), Hitachi Consulting Services, Axis Engineering, ORG Permanent Modernity, and Bostonia Group to help the City carry out the project. This consultant team brings global expertise in utility design, smart cities, and infrastructure implementation strategy that will guide the improvement of Boston’s future.
The BPDA is collaborating with a number of other City departments to improve design strategies and improve efficiency. BPDA will work alongside the Mayor’s Office of Streets, Transportation and Sanitation, Office of New Urban Mechanics, and Office of Environment Energy and Open Space, as well as the Department of Information Technology, the Public Works Department, the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, and the Boston Transportation Department.
The BPDA is grateful for the Barr Foundation, which has generously provided grant funding for the Smart Utilities Vision and delivered match funding for staffing that allowed the BPDA to hire a Smart Utilities Fellow to support the project. Barr’s support will allow the expansion of strategic planning in Boston in order to develop an ambitious, responsible, and actionable vision for the City's future infrastructure.
The BPDA and partnering City agencies will pilot the Smart Utilities Vision in the district defined by the draft PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue initiative. The Vision will propose utility design guidelines with new implementation strategies to address climate change impacts, rising utility costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and challenges of integrating cutting-edge utility technologies.
About the Barr Foundation
Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts and creative expression, advance solutions for climate change, and expand educational opportunity. 
AECOM is a leading edge planner for smart, resilient urban districts and communities, bringing a deep understanding of the technology options that enhance economic and resilience performance. AECOM has developed and implemented integrated infrastructure and resilience plans and solutions for major cities across the United States and across the globe. As an integrated infrastructure leader, AECOM has implemented comprehensive cyber and physical infrastructure solutions at scale in some of the largest and most successful programs in the nation, including San Francisco, Kansas City, Chicago and New York. As one of the largest engineering and architecture firms in Boston, AECOM and its predecessor companies have over a century of experience executing the city’s largest and most complex projects and programs.

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