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2021 Public Space Invitational design competition launched

This year’s program seeks to support the expansion of community compost in Boston.

 Today, Mayor Janey announced the launch of the 2021 Public Space Invitational, a civic design competition that seeks ideas to reimagine our public spaces in Boston. In partnership with the City of Boston’s Public Works Department, Environment’s Zero Waste team, TD Bank, and The Trustees, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is seeking proposals for customized compost bins to support the ongoing expansion of community compost in Boston. Six project proposals will be selected, and winning teams will have up to $5,000 for the implementation of their ideas. Applications are available at and will be accepted through June 1st, 2021.

“Now in its seventh year, the Public Space Invitational has provided so many opportunities for our creative community to bring joy and innovation to our public spaces,“ said Mayor Janey. “I am excited to see the great ideas that will help us expand compost in an equitable and accessible way throughout Boston.“

Since 2015, the City of Boston has run Project Oscar, a pilot program that allows residents to drop off their food scraps for compost at five sites. This summer, Public Works plans to expand the program across the city to multiple new locations, ensuring that community compost is available to all residents. Through the Public Space Invitational, Public Works hopes applicants can address several issues with the City’s current compost bins, such as establishing a unique visual identity for the bins, improving accessibility, and reducing contamination.

Since 2018, the Public Space Invitational has been supported by TD Bank and The Trustees, a steward of 56 community gardens in Boston. Through their partnership, 14 projects at six community gardens in Dorchester, Roxbury, Fenway, Jamaica Plain, and East Boston have launched. Selected projects have supported food access, storytelling, community dinners, performances, and interactive play. This year, The Trustees plans to host educational programming about composting at several community gardens this summer.

The Public Space Invitational is part of a continuing series of efforts to engage Boston's creative community. For more information on the initiative, please visit the 2021 Public Space Invitational website.

About Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics

The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics serves as the City's innovation incubator, building partnerships between internal agencies and outside entrepreneurs to pilot projects that address resident needs. From community green spaces to Accessory Dwelling Units, their approach to innovation is human-centered, nimble and responsive to the changing needs of our growing City.

About Public Works

Boston’s Public Works Department provides core basic services essential to neighborhood quality of life. They direct the general construction, maintenance, and cleaning of approximately 802 miles of roadways, operate two major drawbridges, maintain 68,055 City-owned street lights, and supervise contracts for the removal and disposal of approximately 260,000 tons of solid waste, including the diverting 44,000 tons of material from landfills through Boston’s recycling program.

About TD Bank

TD Bank is committed to driving positive change that enriches the lives of our customers, colleagues and communities. In support of our mission, TD launched The Ready Commitment, which targets $1 billion (CDN) by 2030 toward community giving, in order to maximize our impact in supporting financial security, elevating the quality of our environment, creating opportunities for everyone to participate in their communities, and supporting more equitable health outcomes for all.

About The Trustees

Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 125 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s first preservation and conservation organization, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit, supported by members, friends and donors and our 118 sites are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually.

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