Implement New Solutions

To be a leader in planning and solve many of the challenges that 21st century cities face, we must leverage our deep expertise, tap into Boston’s innovative spirit and capture inspiration from around the world. We will identify new approaches and collaborate with partners to implement novel ideas that positively impact the people of Boston.

External Recommendations

The Context

Good ideas can come from anywhere. The BPDA looks to many sources for inspiration, including other cities around the world facing the same challenges Boston does. Further, the innovative spirit that thrives in the Greater Boston area—leading universities, startups and accelerators, large corporations, non-profits and the like—means that many ideas and the skills to implement them are in our backyard.

The BPDA is uniquely suited to identify and implement these solutions, and Boston’s size makes it a showcase of the best ways to solve many intractable problems common to our cities in the 21st century.

The Four P’s of Implementation

By viewing the challenges of Live, Work and Connect through four P’s—Planning, Policy, Partnership and Pilot—we can provide the right forums and processes for maximizing all that’s best about Boston to create a vibrant hub for urban planning, design and development.

Planning

Apply new planning approaches and tools to create an innovative environment.

What are new ways we can use planning to positively impact housing and the surrounding neighborhoods?

e.g., PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Ave

What are new ways we can use planning to attract new businesses, and the associated jobs?

e.g., Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park Master Plan

What are new ways we can use planning to encourage the right infrastructure to meet our residents’ needs?

e.g., Smart Utilities Vision

Policy

Identify and test new policies to encourage unique development and use.

What fresh policy ideas can we identify and apply to help encourage the right development and its use?

e.g., Density bonuses

What fresh policy ideas can we identify and apply to help encourage development that leads to more jobs?

e.g., Affordable commercial space

What fresh policy ideas can we identify and apply to help anticipate and address future infrastructure needs?

e.g., Transportation mitigation

Partnership

Develop partnerships across domains and industries, private and public.

Which organizations can we effectively collaborate with to better reach shared goals for housing and vibrant neighborhoods?

e.g., Open for Business Initiative between City of Boston and State

What organizations can we effectively collaborate with to provide job training and create more opportunities?

e.g. Small business support—BLDC loan with Dorchester Brewery

What organizations can we effectively collaborate with to improve or create the right infrastructure?

e.g., BTD Go Boston 2030

Piloting

Test new ideas and iterate to create better outcomes.

How can we conduct small-scale tests of new ideas for enhancing neighborhood experiences for all?

e.g., MIT Media Lab’s CityScope and ARkits

How can we conduct small-scale tests of new ways to attract jobs?

e.g., New development models—Innovation and Design Building

How can we conduct small-scale tests of new ideas for improving infrastructure?

e.g., Downtown Crossing Experimental Plaza Pop-up

What This Might Look Like

The image below shows the possible solutions the BPDA could implement using the Four P’s.

Planning

 Comprehensive city-wide planning through Imagine Boston 2030

 Interdepartmental working groups for planning processes

 21st century industrial in mixed-use areas

Policy

 Inclusionary Development Policy

 Zoning for affordable commercial space

 Incentives for broadband

Partnership

 Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics Housing Innovation Lab

 MIT Media Lab

 Start-up accelerators

 State transportation initiatives

Piloting

 New development models

 Pilot-focused fellowship program

 Complete streets, bike lanes

Internal Recommendations

The Context

Because of disparate systems involved in the BPDA’s work, it can be difficult to communicate between departments. And if an experienced employee leaves, it’s hard for a colleague to pick up his/her work streams, or replicate his/her past efforts, due to minimal documentation and handoffs.

The Desired Outcome

Create or adopt systems and processes to help us evolve to a more collaborative environment that fosters communication, drives consistency and is more efficient. Prioritize those efforts that boost comprehensive planning.

Key Activities

Organizational transformation is an ongoing effort, and there will continue to be new systems and approaches for working more collaboratively and efficiently. The following are key activities identified as critical to effecting change as the BPDA embarks on transformation efforts. Some of these activities are already in development.

Work more efficiently.

Continue to upgrade systems, while identifying additional opportunities for documenting and streamlining those processes that will most positively impact productivity within the BPDA. Remove unnecessary barriers to information and provide people with access to systems.

Activate the strategy.

Create new internal systems and tools that will help the BPDA perform better across the four external opportunities.

Establish employee trajectories.

Ensure that we are able to attract and retain top talent through evolved career paths and role definitions, and create training and development plans that support employees at all levels and across departments.

Codify an approach to piloting ideas.

Achieving our vision requires development of a process that enables employees to engage sources for new ideas, identify the appropriate ones to apply and effectively pilot them.

Contact Us   //   BPDA Home   //   nextBRA

One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
tel: 617.722.4300
fax: 617.248.1937
© 2016 Boston Planning & Development Agency

 

One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
tel: 617.722.4300
fax: 617.248.1937
© 2016 Boston Planning & Development Agency

 

This document was created in collaboration with Continuum,
a global innovation design consultancy based in Boston, MA.

This document was created in collaboration with Continuum,
a global innovation design consultancy based in Boston, MA.