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Imagine Boston 2030 launched at design and architecture summit

May 6, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

The two-year public engagement process will create a roadmap for success leading up to Boston’s 400th birthday.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the launch of Boston’s first citywide planning process in 50 years, Imagine Boston 2030, a two-year public engagement process to create a roadmap for success leading up to Boston’s 400th birthday. The Mayor is encouraging residents to visit Imagine.Boston.gov, a newly launched website to get involved in the conversation.   The Mayor made the announcement at the Innovative Design Alternatives Summit (IDeAS) at Faneuil Hall.

“It’s been fifty years since we had a comprehensive plan for Boston,” Mayor Walsh said in a video message that played before his remarks. “In 1965 people were looking for the confidence to believe that the city’s decline had ended. Today we’re a thriving, healthy, and innovative city. Now is our chance to set the course for the next generation. I’m inviting you to join us in imagining the Boston of 2030. From economic development to open space, from education to equality, your voice is the key to our success.”

In the video posted at Imagine.Boston.gov, residents of different ages and backgrounds from across the city speak about their aspirations for the future of Boston, and the website calls on visitors to, “Share your vision. Shape our city.”

Through Imagine Boston, the City hopes to take a more dynamic approach to community engagement than has been done with planning efforts in the past. As a first step to inform the process, Mayor Walsh is asking community members to share their preferences for how they want to be engaged by completing a short online survey on the website. People can also participate on Twitter by using the hashtag #ImagineBos, and residents can reach out to their neighborhood coordinators to give feedback.

There is already a wide array of planning in existence or underway, including work on transportationhousingclimate actionarts and cultureagingopen space, and education. Imagine Boston seeks to knit those efforts together with other key themes to guide Boston into 2030.  A citywide plan will serve to implement the ideas set forth in those other plans and to offer additional ideas for the physical and economic development of Boston.

Imagine Boston will address at least eight key themes, including:

  • Housing: Building housing that keeps Boston accessible to all
  • Mobility: Creating an efficient, equitable, sustainable transportation system
  • Environment and Adaptation: Using natural resources wisely while preparing for the impacts of a changing climate
  • Parks and Open Space: Providing world-class spaces for recreation and public life
  • Prosperity and Equity: Creating jobs and supporting education and workforce development infrastructure to broaden economic opportunity
  • Arts, Culture, and Creativity: Enriching Boston and harnessing our creative potential in all endeavors
  • Design and Placemaking: Building on a rich tradition of creating vibrant urban places and neighborhoods
  • Health: Improving and sustaining the health of Boston’s population

Imagine Boston 2030 will be a multi-phase initiative over the next two years. Starting with an evaluation of baseline conditions, the City expects to begin a more robust public visioning process this fall where community members will be able to contribute ideas to shape Boston’s future. A final plan is expected to be adopted in Summer 2017.

Hundreds gathered for today’s announcement at Faneuil Hall. While design and architecture is the focus of IDeAS, the summit also serves as an opportunity to discuss planning the future of Boston more broadly. There will be a day-long series of interactive panel discussions at BSA Space on Congress Street tomorrow. The full agenda for the summit is available here.

IDeAS is sponsored by The Boston Foundation, Boston Society of Architects Foundation, and Autodesk.