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Community News

Apr 14, 2020

Community design. Youth education. Vision for our cities and towns.

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Our Boston 2019. Mayor Walsh, kids, parents, and volunteers listen to Boston Public Schools Interim Superintendent Laura Perille at BSA Space.

In response to COVID-19, the BSA is mounting direct response community programs while working with our partners to continue planning new and ongoing initiatives for Greater Boston's children, families, and neighborhoods.

Here's a quick look at what's happening with our public programming this week.

Make/Shift...In an effort to prepare for increased COVID-19 demands on area hospitals, the BSA is soliciting nominations for buildings, facilities, or infrastructures that may be adapted to become alternative care sites. Learn more about applicable buildings.Suggest a building or facility. Volunteer.

Boston Public Schools and the City of Cambridge asked the BSA to provide K-12 design-based learning materials to support home schooling during COVID-19. We obliged! For starters, Our Boston 2020 is live! BSA volunteer Gabriela Baierle AIA of Arrowstreet welcomes kindergarteners who have accepted Mayor's Walsh's challenge to design a Boston that is fairer and fun for kids. See pictures from last year's Our Boston celebration!

BSA community design director, Ben Peterson recently met with the Harborkeepers executive director, Magdalena Ayed, and vice president, Chris Marchi; BSLA executive director, Gretchen Rabinkin AIA, Affiliate ASLA; and managing principal Alexis Landes and design principal Gena Wirth from SCAPE Landscape Architecture to discuss visioning and design along the Chelsea Creek in East Boston...As plans progress, BSA youth education director, Polly Carpenter FAIA may reach out to East Boston High and Chelsea High to bring youth vision to the initiative.

BSA policy director, Jenny Effron and housing fellow Wandy Pascoal recently met with Meera Deean, senior urban designer at the Boston Planning and Development Agency (and BSA Foundation trustee) for brainstorming about a design competition to address middle housing in talks continue, Housing KnoCo chairs, your phones may be ringing...The BSA and the City of Boston have piloted multiple design initiatives to drive housing equity in Boston, including the Urban Housing Unit, and the microhousing design competition in Boston's Garrison Trotter neighborhood. 

The Green Ribbon Commission is looking for case studies in Zero-Over-Time buildings from BSA members in order to help the City of Boston reach its goal of getting to a Carbon Free Boston...look for them on

When Bostonians finally go outside this year, a chance to enjoy a cortado or iced tea at a patio cafe in your own neighborhood will be more welcome than ever...The BSA's Cafe Patio Pilot Program is waking up along with the spring... Effron talked with City of Boston, Boston Main Streets Foundation, and Three Squares Main Street about jumpstarting the permitting process for these public improvements visualized last October in workshops led by the BSA's Urban Design Committee. 

Stay tuned for updates on professional programming.