Mission

A Better City advances Boston’s and the region’s economic health, access, sustainability, and quality of life through applied research, planning, targeted services, and advocacy.

In pursuit of its mission, A Better City brings together work in the three core program areas of Transportation and Infrastructure, Land Use and Development, and Energy and the Environment.

PRESENTATIONS

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Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning Initiative

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) recently launched the Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning Initiative to assess and identify strategies to strengthen Boston's existing green building zoning requirements to a zero net carbon standard for new construction. This will advance practices to meet the City of Boston’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Watch here and review the slides here

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PUBLIC REALM & COVID-19

In 2020 we saw many municipal and nonprofit leaders implement rapid response placemaking and tactical placemaking projects as a result of the global pandemic. As a result, many business districts were buzzing with people while social distancing and supporting local businesses. View the slides here & watch here

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Understanding Marketing Opportunities

In light of current market realities, proactive management of energy spending is a key lever for organizations to reduce costs and limit budget uncertainty. Review the slides here and watch the program here

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I-90 ALLSTON PROJECT

We were joined by panelists Gautam Sundaram, Principal, Urban Design of Perkins&Will, Devanshi Purohit, Senior Urban Designer, and Kishore Varanasi, Principal, Director of Urban Design of cbt to discuss the I-90 Allston Project. To learn more, click here

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Cultural Institutions

The purposes of this discussion were to learn more about how some of the Commonwealth’s leading non-profits or cultural institutions have been navigating the ongoing pandemic, reopening strategies, and protocols. Review slides here

 

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Tactical Urbanism 2020

Tactical Urbanism 2020 presented by Mike Lydon, Principal, STREETPLANS Keynote Speaker on 12/3/2019

Greenway Business Improvement District (BID)

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Publications

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Tactical Public Realm Case Studies

The pandemic has reinforced the necessity of open spaces to sustain the health and well-being of residents and businesses alike. This new A Better City report highlights the planning, design, and implementation process for three tactical public realm projects managed by A Better City, in addition to a fourth case study describing several pop-up plazas implemented by the City of Boston. READ HERE

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FUNDING TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS: A COMPREHENSIVE TRANSPORTATION FINANCE PLAN

An answer to our Feb 2019 report, An Update on Transportation Finance, which identified a projected multi-billion-dollar transportation funding gap over the next ten years just to properly maintain existing transportation infrastructure at the MassDOT Highway Division and the MBTA. READ HERE

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NEW MBTA BUS MAINTENANCE FACILITIES & EVOLVING BATTERY ELECTRIC BUS TECHNOLOGY

A Better City in partnership with its consultant Jacobs Engineering and funded by the Barr Foundation assessed the potential to incorporate a battery-electric bus (BEB) maintenance facility...

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE  

REVIEW EVENT SLIDES HERE

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AN UPDATE ON TRANSPORTATION FINANCE

A Better City released a new report identifying a projected $8.4 billion gap in Massachusetts transportation funding requirements between 2019 and 2028...

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE  

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THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION

We are encouraged by Governor Baker’s creation of the Future of Transportation Commission to focus on long-term visioning and planning. Transportation and infrastructure investments may be 20+ years in the making and are subject to changing demographics, technologies, and aspirations, but the visioning needs to be proactive and continuous.

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TACTICAL PUBLIC REALM GUIDELINES

A framework for analysis to understand the relationship between mobility and the public realm. It overviews the history of the Greater Boston region's public realm, then describes emerging design and planning strategies to improve the places and corridors that comprise the area's mobility system. 

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AN OVERVIEW OF ENERGY STORAGE OPPORTUNITIES FOR MA COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

Energy storage has come to the attention of building owners around the country because of the cost savings it delivers, as well as the range of services and benefits it can provide to facilities and the broader electric grid. 

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TRANSPORTATION DIVIDEND: TRANSIT INVESTMENTS AND THE MA ECONOMY

As home to America’s first subway, Boston has been a transit-oriented city for more than a century and much of our regional economic success is due to the connectivity that a transit system provides. 

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What People Are Saying