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Public Space Invitational

Since 2014, the Public Space Invitational has been our open call for people to experiment with temporary, delightful, interventions in the public realm.

We'll add information on how you can submit your public space ideas to us during our next open call. You can learn more about the program, and previous projects, below.

The Background


During the first month of the Walsh administration in January 2014, we were inspired by Philadelphia’s civic design challenge. Our office had been involved with a number of public space interventions. We worked with Soofa to install solar-powered benches in our City’s parks. And with City Hall to Go, we redesigned a former bomb-squad truck to bring citizen services to every neighborhood in Boston.

We were looking to expand the way we sourced, funded, and implemented ideas in public space. Since 2014, project ideas have been installed in 12 neighborhoods and applied to:

  • streets and sidewalks
  • local parks and community gardens
  • public buildings (such as libraries, City Hall, and BPS headquarters)
  • bus stops and transit stations, and
  • a bridge.
By the numbers

So far, we have considered 218 ideas with six design competitions for Boston's public spaces. We have developed projects with 25 teams.

For successful ideas, we work with project teams on funding, project development, site selection, permitting, community engagement, and evaluation. We have implemented 18 ideas. We are planning six more for the first half of 2019.

Lately, we have started to take a seasonal approach by crowdsourcing ideas for winter play. We will pilot two of these ideas in Boston's parks and community centers in February 2019.

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