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Updating the seven-year open space plan

How well is Boston’s park system working for you right now? Where do we want to be in seven years?

The Open Space and Recreation Plan will provide an overview of what's going on in Boston's park system right now and then proposes actions for the next seven years. 

Take the survey!

How well is Boston's park system working for you? How can we do better? The Boston Parks and Recreation Department is updating our Open Space and Recreation Plan and we'd like to hear from you.

Your responses to this five-minute survey will help us improve the way parks are programmed, permitted, maintained, and designed. Please share this survey with your friends, neighbors, and other contacts to help us gather input from residents throughout the city.

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Common terms

ACQUISITION:

In this context, acquisition is used to describe either:

  • the process of transferring ownership of a parcel to Parks and Recreation, and/or 
  • the process of creating open space on a parcel.
 
OPEN SPACE:

This term is used interchangeably with "parks". It can describe permanently protected and publicly accessible:

  • urban wilds and conservation lands
  • plazas
  • places with sports and other recreational opportunities
  • landscaped areas with seating

Vacant lots and buildings are not considered open space, nor are streets and sidewalks.

PARCEL:

Parcel is a real estate term describing an area of land owned by someone. There's an invisible line that denotes ownership and tax liability. This term is used interchangeably with "property." Often, multiple parcels can make up a park. For instance, Franklin Park is made up of a group of parcels that function as one continuous park. Sometimes only a portion of a parcel is devoted to a park.

PROTECTION:

Protection is a legal method to constrain types of development on a parcel, regardless of ownership, that conflict with its use as an open space. There are varying degrees of protection that affect:

  1. how long protection is in place, and
  2. what can happen on the parcel, and where.

The Parks and Recreation Department advocates for permanently protected and publicly accessible parcels. We want the public to have access to open space forever.

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