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

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 Tuesday evenings. The first Tuesday of each month (unless noted otherwise) is the Monthly Commission Meeting when the Commission reviews new projects and votes to recommend projects to the BPDA Board. A subsequent Tuesday is a working session with project teams and smaller groups of Commissioners, where feedback and recommendations are provided on a project's design. 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.

Upcoming Meetings




Boston Civic Design Commission Design Committee Meeting 05:00 PM - 07:30 PM

LOCATION: Virtual Meeting

View Details




Boston Civic Design Commission Monthly Meeting 05:00 PM - 07:30 PM

LOCATION: Virtual Meeting

View Details

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" - any comprehensive set of rules adopted by the Boston Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors and established to preserve and enhance the characteristics of a specific district within the City of Boston; these rules include the heights, setbacks, massing, scale, and materials of buildings, as well as the special features that make the district a distinct subarea of Boston.;

Design aspects of particular importance to the BCDC include: 

  • design of streets and public walkways,
  • design of public spaces, 
  • design of buildings, and 
  • balancing historic characteristics and contemporary architecture.

The Monthly Meeting dates for 2024 are as follows:

  • Tuesday, January 2, 2024
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024
  • Tuesday, March 5, 2024
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2024
  • Tuesday, May 7, 2024
  • Tuesday, June 4, 2024
  • Tuesday, July 9, 2024
  • Tuesday, August 6, 2024
  • Tuesday, September 3, 2024
  • Tuesday, October 8, 2024
  • Tuesday, November 12, 2024
  • Tuesday, December 3, 2024

Before presenting to the BCDC, project proponents should review the following documents:

For more information, please contact us at [email protected] or by telephone at 617.722.4300.