News & Updates

BPDA announces first locations for Squares + Streets planning initiative

Jan 10, 2024

Planning to begin in Roslindale Square, Cleary Square, followed by Codman Square and Fields Corner
BOSTON - January 10, 2024 - The BPDA today announced that the first four locations for the Squares + Streets planning initiative will be Roslindale Square, Cleary Square, Codman Square, and Fields Corner. The planning processes for Roslindale Square and Cleary Square will begin in February, followed by Fields Corner and Codman Square this spring. Each of these locations is a key historic commercial area that already offers transit options, goods, services, and job opportunities, and has the potential for growth, including more housing, arts and culture resources, and retail. 
Expanding access to housing options is essential as the City faces a housing crisis. By intentionally encouraging housing production in transit-accessible squares and main streets that offer an abundance of commercial, civic, cultural, and transportation resources, Boston residents and business owners will feel benefits beyond access to housing. When daily needs are available close to home, time and money spent on transportation, and the number of car trips, can be reduced. Small business owners can benefit from a larger pool of nearby patrons and employees. City services and investments made in these neighborhoods can be felt by a larger number of people.
With community input, the BPDA’s Zoning Reform team drafted an amendment to the Zoning Code that will provide a series of options for Squares + Streets. When first added to the Code, these options will not apply to any areas in the City. Instead, they will serve as a range of options for communities to consider during targeted planning processes in each location. The BPDA will embed staff in a neighborhood center or main street for the duration of the planning process and will work with stakeholders to determine which combination of these new zoning district options best meets the needs and vision for that area. Only after the conclusion of that 6-9 month planning process, with extensive community engagement, will a Squares + Streets zoning option from the Code be applied to a Squares + Streets location. 
In preparation for this planning process, staff have been engaging with community members citywide to hear how residents would like to see their neighborhood centers improve, and to educate them on the Squares + Streets process. The Phase One engagement report can be found here.
Planning for Squares + Streets is one of the first phases of citywide zoning reform and focuses on high-impact, short-term, targeted recommendations that can be implemented through zoning and capital investments. As Boston’s population continues to grow, our Squares + Streets are important places for ensuring every Bostonian has access to affordable, sustainable, and equitable places to live, work, and play. Additional Squares + Streets locations will be announced on a rolling basis. The BPDA will focus on Squares + Streets outside of neighborhoods that have undergone recent planning initiatives. 

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