Norman B. Leventhal Awards


Named in memory of A Better City’s founding director, the Norman B. Leventhal Awards for Excellence in City Building recognize the leaders and innovators who have made significant contributions to our built environment in the areas of Transportation, Land Development, and the Environment.

2016 keynote & HONOREES

about the keynote speaker

United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has engaged the nation in modernization-focused dialogues on our transportation infrastructure systems since assuming his role in 2013. As Secretary and as Mayor of Charlotte, NC, he has connected transportation updates with economic opportunity by expanding key hubs and modes while creating pathways to jobs for thousands of Americans. Secretary Foxx has energized the United States Department of Transportation by incorporating new technologies and equitable outreach programs into his leadership. His ideals of innovation, investment, and equity match those of A Better City and speak to the admirable work of the ceremony's honorees.


Massport: Chief Executive Officer Thomas Glynn will receive a Transportation Award for his efforts to increase Boston's global reach, including his leadership of an international flight expansion project at Logan Airport.

Cambridge Innovation Center: President Brian Dacey and Founder and Chief Exective Officer Tim Rowe will be recognized with a Land Development Award for their organization's dedication to economic opportunity and growth in the Commonwealth.

University of Massachusetts Boston: Associate Professor of Hydrology Ellen Douglas, PhD and Professor of Climate Adaptation Paul Kirshen, PhD  will be honored with an Environment Award for their contributions in climate resiliency to Climate Ready Boston's Boston Research Advisory Group.

Thank you to our 2016 Sponsors


Previous honorees include:

2015 Honorees

Distinguished Leadership
Governor Michael Dukakis

Michael Capuano, US Representative, 7th Congressional District of Massachusetts

Land Development
John Drew, President & CEO, Drew Company Inc.

Boston Medical Center

- Kate Walsh, President & CEO

- Robert Biggio, Vice President of Facilities & Support Services

2014 Honorees

- Robert A. DeLeo, Massachusetts House of Representatives
- Therese Murray, Massachusetts Senate
- Stephen M. Brewer, Senate Committee on Ways and Means
- Thomas M. McGee, Joint Committee on Transportation
- Brian S. Dempsey, House Committee on Ways and Means
- William M. Straus, Joint Committee on Transportation

Land Development
Steven B. Samuels, Samuels & Associates

Frederick A. Laskey, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Distinguished Leadership
Deval L. Patrick, Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

2013 Honorees

Fred Salvucci, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Land Development
Thomas J. Hynes Jr., Colliers International

Gary L. Gottlieb, M.D., Partners Healthcare

Lifetime Achievement
Thomas M. Menino, Mayor, City of Boston

2012 Honorees

Jane Garvey, Meridiam Infrastructure

Land Development
Lawrence Cancro, Boston Red Sox

Amos Hostetter, Pilot House Associates (Continental Cablevision)

2011 Honorees

Frank DePaola, MassDOT (Accelerated Bridge Program & Fast 14 I-93 Rapid Bridge Replacement Project)

Land Development
Thomas M. Menino, Mayor, City of Boston

Bryan Koop, Boston Properties, Inc.

History of Norman B. Leventhal and the Awards

Mr. Leventhal, who was born in 1917 and raised in Boston, was recognized many times throughout his life for contributions to the built environment in Boston, including Center Plaza, Rowes Wharf, South Station, One Post Office Square, the Hotel Meridien and affordable housing. He was the founding chairman of A Better City (formerly known as the Artery Business Committee) and championed the organization's transition to focusing on a larger breadth of initiatives in the Boston area following the completion of the Central Artery Tunnel Project.

In 1945, Normal Leventhal co-founded Beacon Construction Company, which grew to become an award-winning developer and manager of office buildings, affordable housing and hotels. 

In 1997, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino named the park in Post Office Square “Norman B. Leventhal Park” in recognition of his leadership of the Friends of Post Office Square and in the demolition and revitalization of what was previously a multi-story parking garage. 

In 2003, Mr. Leventhal, in partnership with the Boston Public Library, established The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library. The Map Center is dedicated to education through the use of maps and provides public access to the Center’s extensive collection of 250,000 maps and atlases.

In 2007, Mr. Leventhal was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Mayor Menino formally designated The Walk to the Sea as the “Norman B. Leventhal Walk to the Sea” in recognition of his role in shaping the new Boston. He served as a life member emeritus of the MIT Corporation. He was a board member and former chairman of the Friends of Post Office Square and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

In 2011, A Better City hosted the first Norman B. Leventhal Awards ceremony to honor those in the Boston region who continued Norman's legacy of impact on the city's growth and quality of life. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 97, having left an indelible mark on Boston's public space and built environment.