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Civic Engagement

Fulfilling the Promise: Overview
April 7, 2017  /  Kishore Varanasi
Fulfilling the Promise: Community Building and the Emerald Necklace Overview by Kishore Varanasi Designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted over 100 years ago, the Emerald Necklace runs...
Call for designers: Fairmount Indigo Corridor
September 28, 2016  /  BSA staff
Fairmount Indigo Corridor Visioning The BSA Foundation is assembling a team of designers to produce renderings and other visualizations to illustrate potential development along the Fairmount Indigo...
Boston Living with Water
July 9, 2015  /  BSA staff
Canals...living shorelines...adaptation over time...See the winning solutions to the Boston Living with Water competition!   Boston Living with Water, an open international design competition,...
Boston Living with Water Competition Update
The Boston Living with Water design competition is bringing leading architects and engineers from around the world to share ideas, insights, and experiences while stimulating thinking about how...
AIA Grassroots Leadership Conference
March 10, 2015  /  BSA staff
Last week members of AIA Massachusetts, the Boston Society of Architects/AIA, Central Massachusetts AIA, and AIA Western Massachusetts attended the annual AIA Grassroots Leadership Conference in...
A mid-series recap of the Traffic Advisory speaker series
August 8, 2014  /  David Dixon FAIA
Regional transportation planning from Greater Boston’s beginning In the early 1630s, our region launched its first transportation “plan” to link the economies of two emerging...
Renovate for Recovery update: Working with the 2013 Marathon survivors
March 6, 2014  /  Dana Cohen AIA and Dawn Guarriello AIA
A new Boston Marathon will be run on April 21, but for the people most impacted by last year's bombings, the long road to recovery has just begun. Working with the Boston Survivor's...
SomerVision: What makes a city hip?
February 13, 2014  /  Todd Larson
More than 70 guests packed BSA Space on January 16 for the BSA Urban Design Committee’s kick-off lecture for 2014. The draw? SomerVision, Somerville’s 20-year plan for evolution into a...
Marathon victims get help making homes accessible
July 22, 2013  /  Eric Moskowitz, republished from the Boston Globe
Between Brigham and Women’s and Spaulding Rehab and the Brigham again, Martha Galvis spent 76 days hospitalized after the Boston Marathon attacks, dreaming of home. And though her life is not...
Two breaks we can unite around
October 26, 2012  /  Nick Caruso AICP, Assoc. AIA
With the recent rail advancements in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the northern end of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Boston and Washington (Bos–Wash) is a straight modern line filled...
Brian Swett visits BSA Space, discusses Disclosure Ordinance
September 19, 2012  /   A. Vernon Woodworth AIA, LEED AP
At a joint meeting of the BSA Legislative Affairs Committee and the Committee for the Advancement of Sustainability held on September 11, 2012, at BSA Space, Boston’s new chief of environment...
Restoring historic public spaces in the age of sustainability—and heightened security
August 28, 2012  /  David Eisen
Hidden in the heart of Boston are some amazing interiors that you would never know were there, sequestered behind brick and stone facades, they are worlds unto themselves. Who would guess that the...
Why punish Rhode Island?
July 2, 2012  /  Nick Caruso AICP
Beginning in the 1980s, Rhode Island devised an aggressive reversal of its urban decay and shrinking rail network as Boston’s 1970s reinventions started to take hold. The state pushed ahead...
Members go to Washington
April 26, 2012  /  Mike Davis FAIA and Audrey O’Hagan AIA
Several BSA members recently traveled to Washington, DC, to advocate on behalf of the architecture and design industry, particularly as it pertains to national economic recovery. AIA Grassroots...
BSA Space and Chapter 91
April 26, 2012  /  Michael Bellefeuille
Given how the slow economic recovery has affected building and design industry professionals, it is easy to wonder how the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) managed to move to stylish new digs on...
The resourceful city, part 4: Reprogramming possibilities
November 18, 2011  /  Scott Burnham
“What if…?” is the moment of departure from the present to a possible future. Every city has a similar stock of buildings, spaces and physical infrastructure. As they age, the arc...
Urban state—suburban state
December 19, 2011  /  Nick Caruso
Over the last 15 years, the various states within the Boston-Washington, DC, megalopolis (BosWash) have dramatically improved their urban infrastructure and inner-city development patterns. States...
The Massachusetts “prompt pay law” and what it means for architects
November 14, 2011  /  Andrew Baldwin
On August 10, 2010, the Massachusetts legislature and Governor Deval Patrick enacted House Bill 4271, titled “An Act Promoting Fairness in Private Construction Contracts.”  The new...
The resourceful city, part 3: Reprogramming infrastructure
October 20, 2011  /  Scott Burnham
Potential for reuse is a hard thing to quantify. The Dutch Pavilion of last year’s Venice Architecture Biennale exhibited a vast fictional cityscape representing all the vacant building space...
The resourceful city, part 2: Reprogramming space
October 13, 2011  /  Scott Burnham
A piece of chalk in a child’s hands is a powerful tool. With it, that child has the power to transform a city’s sidewalks, parking lots and alleys into platforms of possibilities. Whether...
The resourceful city, part 1: Reprogramming buildings
October 5, 2011  /  Scott Burnham
Referring to someone as resourceful is high praise. The word very succinctly creates a narrative of character for the individual, communicating agility, ingenuity and ability. Resourceful is not a...
Common Boston: Peeling back the layers of urban life
August 22, 2011  /  David Eisen AIA
We each build our own little city to live in out of the bricks and mortar of our daily routines. They tend to reduce the infinite possibilities of urban life to a familiar circle of people and places...
Community engagement 2.0
August 19, 2011  /  Siqi Zhu and Meera Deean
We’ve all been to the public meetings with endless Powerpoints and a few very vocal citizen-activists who dominate the conversation. Perhaps you even presented at one such forum or sat in the...
New law grants Massachusetts architects mechanic’s lien rights
July 7, 2011  /  Andrew Baldwin
On January 5, 2011, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law amendments to Massachusetts’ Mechanic’s Lien Act (M.G.L. c. 254, § 1, et seq.) that provide design professionals and their...
Beyond the branding: Designing a 21st-century Innovation District
July 12, 2011  /  David Eisen AIA
“Innovation district” is an oxymoron. Today many innovators could be anywhere as long as they have a laptop and a place to get a good cup of coffee. But creativity does have a spatial...
The key to sustainable farming: Cities
May 25, 2011  /  Jonathan Taylor
When people talk about being conscious of where their food comes from, they most likely are thinking of farms, and, for some, the zeal for local food leads to dreams of urban agriculture. But cities...
Maine’s building and energy code: So goes the nation. But which way?
April 14, 2011  /  George B. Terrien
As architects, we rarely see ourselves on the front line of foreign policy. Well, we are now, and to deploy our responsibility, as for any conflict worth engaging, requires long and complicated...
Greening Government Center
January 18, 2011  /  Kim Poliquin
Boston has been selected as one of five U.S. cities to receive an EPA Smart Growth grant called Greening America’s Capitals. It is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities...
Thoughts on tiny houses
February 3, 2011  /  Mimi Zeiger
It’s impossible to escape the fact that tiny houses are cute. Little roofs, little windows—even the two-word term is diminutive. “Tiny houses” instantly brings to mind the...
Improving downtown Boston through BID
January 28, 2011  /  Frank Barrett
If taking part in the new Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (BID) didn’t make BSA members’ New Year’s resolution lists, it’s not too late. Why did this BID...
Ten questions for Chris Walsh AIA of Massachusetts
January 6, 2011  /  Genevieve Rajewski
In November, Democrat Chris Walsh AIA won the 6th Middlesex District seat on the Massachusetts House of Representatives. As one of three AIA members nationwide to win election to their state...
Ten questions for Jim Nielson AIA of Utah
January 3, 2011  /  Genevieve Rajewski
In November, Jim Nielson AIA of Utah won the District 19 seat on the Utah State House of Representatives. As one of three AIA members nationwide to win election to their state legislature for the...
Ten questions for Lonnie Laffen AIA of North Dakota
January 4, 2011  /  Genevieve Rajewski
In November, Republican Lonnie Laffen AIA of North Dakota won the 43rd District (Grand Forks) seat on the North Dakota State Senate. As one of three AIA members nationwide to win election to their...
Designed for action
November 1, 2010  /  BSA
With climate change, the recent earthquake in Haiti, the Rhode Island floods and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) undertaking the remapping of flood zones, preparing for disasters is on...
A new cycle of street life in Boston
January 1, 2010  /  BSA
Shauna Gillies-Smith ASLA, LEED AP, principal of Ground Inc., and Mark Pasnik RA, LEED AP, principal of over,under, gave a recent talk co-hosted by the BSA and LivableStreets Alliance. We caught up...