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Monday, October 07, 2019

Councilor Michelle Wu Calls for Reforms to Boston’s Development Process


Boston, MA—October 7th,
2019—Today, Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu called on the City of Boston to abolish the Boston Planning & Development Agency in a new report, Fixing Boston’s Broken Development Process: Why & How to Abolish the BPDA

Councilor Wu’s report, available for viewing at AbolishTheBPDA.com, envisions a more inclusive, transparent, and ongoing partnership to plan a shared future for all Bostonians. 

As Chair of the Boston City Council’s Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation, Councilor Wu has collected feedback and research from conversations with residents, public hearings on proposed projects, meetings with civic leaders and neighborhood associations, and historical research. 

The report highlights that Boston’s development process, rather than harnessing the city’s growth to address urgent challenges, has instead exacerbated inequality, traffic and congestion, and climate vulnerability.

“We are a city of tremendous resources, and we can chart a better path forward by leaving behind outdated structures and removing barriers to participation,” said Councilor Wu. “Meeting our challenges with urgency and scale will require considering the interconnectedness of these issues and empowering everyone to take part.  We can’t afford to maintain a complicated system that only the most privileged and powerful can navigate.”

“The BRA, now BPDA, had an important role to play in mid 20th century Boston, but that same role is not fully responsive to 21st century needs and realities,” said former Secretary of Transportation Jim Aloisi. “We’ve got to reimagine how planning and development takes place in a modern city, framed by contemporary needs and priorities.” 

“Transit and housing planning in the City of Boston have been divorced for too long. Bringing rationality, oversight, and corridor-wide approach to transportation mitigation for new development is a great idea,” said Jarred Johnson, housing advocate.

Councilor Wu will hold the first of a series of community listening sessions regarding her new report tonight, Monday, October 7th at 5PM at the Union United Methodist Church: 485 Columbus Avenue, South End. All are invited to attend.
(From Michelle Wu's campaign office)

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