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Encyclopedia > Boston Redevelopment Authority

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) is the municipal planning and development agency for Boston, working on both housing and commercial developments. Boston redirects here. ...

The BRA was established by the Boston city council and the Massachusetts legislature in 1957. Its primary goal is to work with Bostonians, business and developers in order to provide direction for development in the city of Boston.

The BRA's statutory authority was set forth in the Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 121B, section 4 in 1957 and Chapter 652, section 12 in 1960. Its broad development authorities include the power to buy and sell property, the power to acquire property through eminent domain, and the power to grant tax concession (under MGL chapter 121A) to encourage commercial and residential development.[1]

The BRA does not consider requests for zoning variances. These are heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals, a seven-person body appointed by the mayor.[2] A typical zoning map; this one identifies the zones, or development districts, in the city of Ontario, California Zoning is a North American term for a system of land-use regulation. ...

Some consider the BRA's roles as both real estate owner/developer and approval authority to be a conflict of interest.


One of the first projects the BRA took on was the demolition of the West End of Boston, in an infamous urban renewal project that generated a considerable negative reaction locally and across the country. At the same time, nineteenth-century buildings around Scollay Square were demolished to make way for the new Government Center [3]. Many consider the finished project (which includes Boston City Hall) an eyesore, and the surrounding large brick plaza as an uncomfortable place to be.[4] Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOVD Articles that have been linked to this page are the subject of an NPOV dispute (NPOV stands for Neutral Point Of View; see below). ... The West End of Boston, Massachusetts is a neighborhood bounded generally by Cambridge Street to the south, the Charles River to the west and northwest, Martha Road and Lomasney Way on the north and northeast, and Staniford Street on the west. ... Urban Renewal redirects here. ... Government Center circa 2000 Government Center is a city square and plaza in Boston, Massachusetts, bounded by Cambridge, Court, Congress, and Sudbury Streets. ... Boston City Hall during the 2004 rally for the New England Patriots. ...

The BRA is currently undertaking development projects such as the Rose Kennedy Greenway,[dubious ] which is being developed atop the Big Dig and is opening up the waterfront to pedestrians. The BRA owns real estate throughout the city and sells this when an attractive plan for the use of the property is submitted and approved. This is can be seen in the "East Boston Municipal Harbor Plan" where BRA owned properties along the waterfront are currently being developed[5] and Fort Point Channel development. The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a series of parks and public spaces planned for downtown Boston, Massachusetts. ... For other projects of the same name, see Big Dig. ... Fort Point Channel is a channel separating South Boston from downtown Boston, Massachusetts, feeding into Boston Harbor. ...


  1. ^ http://www.cityofboston.gov/bra/HomePageUtils/about_us.asp
  2. ^ http://www.cityofboston.gov/isd/building/boa/pdfs/Zoning_Booklet.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~fup/password/downtown.html
  4. ^ http://www.celebrateboston.com/strange/governmentcenter.htm
  5. ^ http://www.cityofboston.gov/bra/Planning/PlanningInitsIndividual.asp?action=ViewInit&InitID=13

External links

  Results from FactBites:
BRA seeks to block mosque questions - The Boston Globe (734 words)
The Boston Redevelopment Authority went to court yesterday to prevent four of its key officials from having to answer questions under oath about a deal in which a city-owned parcel of land was transferred to an Islamic group for construction of a mosque.
BRA attorneys said the David Project has not agreed to pay for searching for the requested documents, including e-mails, and for copying those documents, a cost that could range from about $50,000 to $85,000.
Lewis said the BRA has thousands of documents stored "willy-nilly" in boxes that are not labeled, a storage method he said was intended to keep the documents from being easily accessible and to increase the costs of access.
SAND News! (800 words)
The Boston Redevelopment Authority has quietly reduced its housing projections for Fort Point, from a stated goal of 2500 units (all BRA plans from 2001-2005) to a newly stated goal of 2000-2300 units (inserted into the newly published 100 Acre Plan Final Draft).
As envisioned by Cooper, Robertson and Partners — the planning team hired by the BRA to develop the Seaport Public Realm Plan, with conclusions supported by the Boston Society of Architects, thousands of housing units would be of vital importance for the South Boston Waterfront to develop as an urban neighborhood.
In 1998, the Boston Society of Architects called for the “threshold residential development that generates critical mass of residents (minimum of 10-15, 000 residents, 6000 dwelling units...mix of housing types and range of affordability spread through the District).” The BSA estimate was cited in comments from SAND to the BRA in January 2000.
  More results at FactBites »



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