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Civic engagement

​The BSA and the BSA Foundation support initiatives that employ design ideas in ways that positively affect individuals, communities, and entire city systems.

Excellent design elevates people’s quality of life.

The livability of our cities and towns, and the well-being of our communities and neighborhoods can be defined in large part by the success or failure of design. Transit, coastal and climate resilience, health and safety, as well as a public realm that promotes economic vitality and social equity are just a few of our shared resources that are directly influenced by design. BSA members and Foundation volunteers bring together residents, elected officials, students, academics, and community activists to identify and solve real-world problems for the people of Greater Boston. Read about a few of these initiatives below.

Messages from 2018 BSA president Jay Wickersham FAIA

March 8, 2018—Living with water, as a threat and a friend
On March 2 a gale flooded parts of downtown Boston for the second time this winter. The BSA had to close BSA Space at Atlantic Wharf; an AquaFence system of mobile flood walls was set up as a barricade around the building. Read more.

March 8, 2018—Now Practice Now 2018
The NOW PRACTICE NOW workshops explore the means and methods of transforming practice. The series is for those who now practiceRead more.

February 8, 2018—The BSA’s Public Policy Principles and our Agenda for 2018
The BSA has always had a strong civic presence. There are so many ways in which our members use their design skills to improve our communities—getting involved in 50+ BSA grassroots committees; serving on local and state boards; and working with nonprofits and our partners, the BSA Foundation and AIA Massachusetts. Read more.

Program spotlight

Designing Boston: Accessory Dwelling Units

The BSA Foundation brought back the popular Designing Boston series on Monday June 25, 2018, with a lively panel discussion about Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The audience listened as panelists discussed how the old idea of creating a second small unit, within or next to a larger dwelling unit, is new again and sweeping the nation.



Fulfilling the Promise: Community Building and the Emerald Necklace

The Emerald Necklace, a park system created by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted more than 100 years ago, envisioned that Columbia Road would...

Climate Resilient Boston

The evening will begin with presentations on the Climate Ready Boston and 100 Resilient Cities initiatives, followed by a focused, participatory session with the organizers of the Boston Living with Water…


Civic and community vision

Volunteer design professionals assist communities, developers, and city agents in the envisioning of placemaking opportunities related to large redevelopment sites such as Beacon Yards and…

Coastal / Climate Resilience

Volunteers and design students embark on a series of initiatives designed to assist that coastal community in its own efforts to prepare for climate change and sea…


Healthy Cities

Volunteer designers go directly into the communities to help residents promote their own visions of safe, healthy public spaces such as vegetable gardens…

Housing and Affordability

An urban design workshop focused on the Dorchester Avenue corridor and two public forums explore ways to promote more expansive and innovative thinking…


Mobility and transportation

A year-long exploration of best practices in new transit initiatives featuring city and thought leaders from around the globe.

Be a part of this

The BSA and BSA Foundation depend on the support and interest of people like you. Find out more ways to stay plugged in.

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