Accomplishments

We’re proud of the many contributions we have made in transportation, land development and the environment for the Greater Boston Area. Here are a few of our most recent accomplishments:

Transportation & Infrastructure Priorities

ALLSTON INTERCHANGE refinement

A Better City worked closely with our member institutions abutting the Allston Interchange, with MassDOT and its consultants, and with members of the Task Force to further refine and develop an at-grade alternative for replacement of the I-90 viaduct adjacent to the interchange in coordination with the placemaking initiatives advanced by the City of Boston and adopted by MassDOT for the area. 

 

Future of Parking in Boston

A Better City completed the Future of Parking in Boston report, a research project developed in partnership with the City of Boston to learn the best practices on parking policies from around the nation. This report listed specific recommendations on how to make parking work more effectively for residents, visitors, and the business community.  Recently Mayor Walsh announced the Performance Parking pilot program that will study the relationship between parking meter prices and vehicle demand in the Seaport and Back Bay, a recommendation listed in our parking report

 

go Boston 2030

As co-chair of the Advisory Committee for the Go Boston 2030 planning effort, A Better City helped to lead the process that is proposing transformative policies and projects that will inform programs and investment decisions described in the final Vision report of the project. 

 

South Boston Waterfront 

Secured $25 Million in the MassDOT capital infrastructure budget for improvements to the South Boston Waterfront area.  This funding will be used to implement improvements from the 2015 South Boston Waterfront Transportation plan.   A Better City leads a group of stakeholders and public agencies to sequence and reach consensus on the projects that will be funded by this money.   We also helped to advance the South Station Expansion project, by submitting comment letters, writing op-ed articles, and organizing the South Boston Stakeholders Community.

Land Use & Development Priorities

Downtown waterfront

A Better City served on the Advisory Committee reviewing and commenting on the Municipal Harbor Plan prepared in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 91 for the waterfront between Christopher Columbus Park and the Moakley Bridge.  A Better City submitted detailed comments to the Boston Planning and Development Agency on the current draft plan in December.

 

public realm placemaking study 

Continuing with the study begun in 2015, A Better City completed three reports on placemaking practices for the City of Boston which were released at a panel discussion Designing Boston: Placemaking  co-sponsored with the Boston Society of Architects in October.  Our consultant, Stantec Urban Places Group, began development of a conceptual design in Phillips Square in Chinatown.  Utile, Inc., under direction of A Better City,  began working with the Boston Transportation Department and other City departments to prepare guidelines that will support placemaking activities in the city.

Environmental Priorities

Climate vulnerabilities & solutions symposium

On September 15th, A Better City held Boston’s Climate Vulnerabilities and Solutions Symposium and Expo, attended by 325 attendees.  In addition to three panels: an overview of Climate Ready Boston; resilience interventions in new construction, existing buildings and at a district level; and financing and policy solutions for resilience; this half day event included an expo of fourteen resilience vendors showcasing their technologies.

 

Collaborative renewable energy procurement

In October, A Better City announced the facilitation of a joint solar power purchase agreement to fuel member organizations Boston Medical Center MIT, and the Friends of Post Office Square. The facility is expected to deliver 146 GWh of emissions-free power to the grid every year, making it the largest renewable energy project ever built in the U.S. through an off-taker alliance among diverse organizations. This initiative highlights the efforts of the Greater Boston region's business and institutional leaders to identify and execute innovative, cost-effective, and responsible climate change mitigation investments.  In November, A Better City co-hosted an invitation-only event that shared insight from each of the key participants reflecting upon the genesis of the agreement. Both challenges and lessons learned were reviewed, with an emphasis on meaningful conclusions that will facilitate and guide power purchase agreements in the future.

 

mobile source ghg reduction projects

Over the summer, the MBTA released a Request for Qualification (RFQ) to develop a new account-based, single-source automatic fare collection system for the MBTA. A Better City provided input on the RFQ and a Request for Proposal (RFP) with the contract to be awarded in 2017. A Better City is working with Regina Villa to engage other transportation agencies, modes, and services in Massachusetts (RTAs, Massport, private bus operators, suburban/contracted bus systems, TMAs, etc.) to gather feedback about their interest in joining this new fare collection system. A Better City’s Mobile Source GHG Emissions Calculator was recognized at the 2016 ACT National Awards, as a finalist for the Excellence in Research Award.