Walsh, BPDA Announce PLAN: East Boston Advisory Group

After a series of successful community workshops that kicked off the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s (BPDA) initiative PLAN: East Boston, Mayor Martin Walsh and the BPDA announced Monday the appointments of 20 residents to the initiative’s Advisory Group (AG).

Over the summer Mayor Walsh announced Eastie was chosen as one of five neighborhoods that will be part of the BPDA’s planning initiative as part of an Imagine Boston 2030 effort to ‘preserve, enhance and grow’ the neighborhood.

The city plans to work closely with Eastie community groups, community leaders and other stakeholders to ensure decisions made by the city are following the guiding principles of “preserves wisely, enhances equitably, and grows inclusively”. 

The Advisory Group announced this week (see list) is comprised of residents who represent Eastie’s diverse community, and includes representatives from each of the six civic associations.

According to the BPDA Director Brian Golden the  20 member group will help to create a long term vision for the neighborhood and includes renters and owners, lifelong residents and new residents, small business representatives, housing activists, environmental and open space advocates, a real estate agent, an architect, and community experts.

One-third of the membership is either Spanish-speaking or of the Latino Community.

“We congratulate the members selected, and thank the many qualified nominees who stepped forward,” said Golden. “We greatly appreciate the interest in this planning initiative and the commitment to the neighborhood. We are looking forward to working with the East Boston community.”

As part of the initiative in Eastie comprehensive planning will include a focus on balancing contextually-sensitive development alongside preservation. There will also be a focus on supporting existing residents and businesses through increased access to opportunity, affordability strategies, and anti-displacement policies.

One of the highlights in Eastie will be improving the public realm and access to open space and neighborhood-serving amenities, addressing mobility challenges, and supporting neighborhood resiliency and preparing for climate change. 

The city will work with the community in Eastie’s half dozen enclaves with a focus on the the neighborhoods here that are facing increased development pressures. Working with the community the city will determine a shared vision for the future of the neighborhood. Community discussion will focus on preservation of the existing residential fabric, enhancement of the vitality of existing residential communities and businesses, anti-displacement strategies for residents and businesses, connectivity along the waterfront, mobility, and flood protection and climate resiliency. 

Last year the BPDA approved an Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD) for Eastie’s existing residential neighborhoods. An IPOD is an interim zoning tool that is used to maintain increased public review and community voice in the evaluation of proposed new development during a planning process.

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