Boston Design Vision

Every Bostonian should see themselves in the buildings and outdoor spaces that define our city.

The Boston design vision seeks to understand how buildings and outdoor spaces can better support Bostonians' sense of belonging and identity citywide.

The BPDA’s Urban Design team understands that a person's sense of self is influenced by the streets, buildings, and outdoor spaces in the City and their neighborhoods. This includes how the city looks, feels, supports movement, and how it builds community.

We are interested in learning how design can help shape the growth in our city to serve our people.

Understanding these physical characteristics for our city will support new ways in which we can support a sense of belonging for communities.

This will inform how future spaces are designed and communicate what is important for communities to thrive, and promote equitable growth and development.

Get Involved

  • Show us your Boston. Share photos on social media of your favorite spaces with the tag #BostonDesignVision
  • Spread the word! Share the design vision with your friends and family.
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The Design Vision process will focus on each neighborhood's own spirit and vision and will havethe potential to ensure that future generations of Bostonians live in places that are distinctive, identifiable,and feel like home.

Download the Boston Design Vision Timeline as a PDF

Creating the vision involves:

Learning from others through research, analysis, and community engagement

We looked into how Boston has been shaped over time, interviewed design experts, and researched peer cities.

We’ve framed questions: Which spaces do you use in multiple ways? How do you feel traveling through spaces? Where do you spend time with your communities? Where do you like the look and feel of spaces?

Defining Design Vision

We strive to understand what makes spaces welcoming, comfortable, and usable through public engagement, on-the-ground photo documentation, and understanding city making processes.

Roadmap/Next Steps

We are working towards understanding the physical and aesthetic elements of places and spaces, how to communicate it, recommendations to support the vision, and a pathway to achieve it.

Community Engagement

For a design vision to work well in Boston, it needs to come from and embrace the diversity of its communities. Community involvement is crucial to ensure the vision is fair and includes everyone. Our approach focuses on finding new ways to include as many voices as possible, especially those not heard, meeting people where they are, and making it enjoyable and simple to take part.

Upcoming Events

There are no events or meetings on the Calendar at this time. Please check back again soon.

Visit our Calendar section for more events.

Additional Resources

Past Events

The Community Advisory Board (CAB) is an important partner in inclusive planning and design. The Urban Design team will work with the CAB to create a plan that reflects what the community values and wants. This plan will guide us in bringing our design ideas to life in all neighborhoods.

The CAB is composed of 15 Bostonians that reflect the City’s diversity and different neighborhoods. Members represent a variety of voices and perspectives ranging from marginalized and/or communities of color, immigrant communities, community activists, homeowners/renters, organizers, artists, and more.

Name Community Participation
Johane Alexis-Phanor Beyond Wordz,Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, US Haitian Chamber of Commerce
Eryn-Ashlei Bailey Jamaica Plain Centre/South Main Streets, SPARK Council
Nia Beverly District 7 Advisory Council, Roxbury Path Forward, Roxbury United Neighborhoods, D7 Health, Environment Subcommittee 
Alice Brown Boston Harbor Now
Jason Brown West Rox Bikes, West Roxbury Main Streets, Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale, Parkway Running Club
James Cordero Boston Public Schools, Boston Teachers Union’s Housing Justice Committee, Reclaim Roxbury
Mariellen S Dalton Eagle Hill Civic Association, Friends of East Boston Library
Alison Frazee Boston Preservation Alliance, Legacy Fund for Boston, Roslindale Village Main Street
Niara Hightower Boston Art Review
Ted Landsmark (Honorary Chair) Northeastern University
Allentza Michel Powerful Pathways, Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council, Fairmount Indigo Transit Coalition, Action for Regional Equity
Jules Pieri The Grommet, Navy Yard Garden & Art
Whitney Sands Allston Brighton Community Development Cooperative, Brighton Congregational Church, Harvard Business School Community Partner
Hakim Sutherland Boys & Girls Club, ACE

Additional Resources