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Community News

Aug 31, 2021

Boston Mayoral Candidates Take Part in BSA Forum

Mayoral Forum

The race for mayor in Boston is going strong. Ahead of the primary election on September 14, mayoral candidates took part in a forum hosted by the BSA, during which they answered questions from audience members and each other.

Former Economic Development Chief John Barros, City Councilor Andrea Campbell, City Councilor Annissa Essabi-George, and City Councilor Michelle Wu participated in the one-hour virtual event on Monday, August 30. Moderator Liz Neisloss of GBH News quizzed candidates on issues related to the built environment in Boston, while BSA President Gregory Minott AIA provided opening and closing remarks.

Over the course of the hour, candidates weighed in on topics such as development on the waterfront and within the floodplain, the Imagine Boston 2030 plan, the need for a zero-carbon future, and the possible future of the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA).

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Photo by Qusai Akoud on Unsplash

Candidates differed on their plans to address these issues, but there was widespread consensus that the development process in the City is in need of improvement.

Councilor Wu noted that "We have one of the most complex, arbitrary, and costly development processes anywhere...We need a process for how the growth of the neighborhood fits in with the entire city."

Councilor Campbell added, "The majority of residents do want development. They want to have a seat at the table—they don't want an ad-hoc response. This system is failing developers, builders, architects...everybody."

Mr. Barros emphasized the need to be sensitive to the needs of particular neighborhoods, saying, "The City has to be a partner in development."

A recording of the full event is available to watch on YouTube. You may also follow the conversation and provide your input on the BSA's Twitter thread.

Planning to vote in the primary? Make sure you're registered. View resources on the City of Boston's website to get your questions about voter registration answered.

Looking for a deeper dive on the candidates' current positions? This past July, candidates answered several of the BSA's questions around Boston's built environment. Questions were designed to gain a better understanding of how each candidate will address the City's most critical issues. Learn more in their full responses, available here.