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Updating the seven-year open space plan

The City of Boston Open Space and Recreation Plan 2022-2028 will present the process, analysis, plan goals, and objectives for improving and protecting open space in Boston.

Please check back for updates on the Open Space and Recreation Plan.

Have questions? Contact:

Parks and Recreation

617-961-3025

Follow us on social media or sign up for the Healthy Places newsletter. You will learn about ways to get involved and receive the latest information on the Urban Forest Plan, Heat Resilience Study, and Open Space and Recreation Plan.

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2015-2021 Open Space and Recreation Plan

The City of Boston Open Space and Recreation Plan 2015 - 2021 presents the process, analysis, plan goals, and objectives for improving and protecting open space in Boston.

View the plan

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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