Our organization was born out of the “Big Dig” — Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel Project. As Boston developers Norman Leventhal and Edwin Sidman sought to build support from the business community for the Big Dig’s success, they spearheaded the creation of the Artery Business Committee. The 29 original member companies met for the first time in 1989 and identified three priorities:
Throughout the Big Dig’s construction, the Artery Business Committee fought to keep Boston open for business and worked with city and state officials to monitor traffic and construction management, utility relocation, and highway architecture. As a result, during construction of the project Boston enjoyed the lowest vacancy rate and the lowest unemployment rate in the city’s history.
After completion of the Big Dig, the Artery Business Committee expanded its scope to include large infrastructure projects citywide and in 2006 rebranded itself as A Better City to reflect its new role in Boston’s development. Over the years we have played a critical role in open space and land use development planning for the Rose Kennedy Greenway. We have spearheaded major transportation projects focused on I-93, the Longfellow Bridge, and the Allston Interchange. And we have managed and assisted with the planning and implementation of the South Boston Waterfront Transportation Plan.
Additionally, A Better City has advanced transportation finance reform, policy, and legislative initiatives, and launched award-winning Challenge for Sustainability and Transportation Management Association programs.
A Better City is fortunate to have many prominent members of the business community on its board and in its leadership.
Past chairmen include:
1989–1992: Norman B. Leventhal, Beacon Capital Partners
1993–1995: John Larkin Thompson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA
1996–1999: Robert L. Beal, Related Beal
2000–2006: John Drew, The Drew Companies
2007–2010: Michael E. Mooney, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
2011–2012: Lawrence S. DiCara, Nixon Peabody
2013–2016: Michael Cantalupa, Boston Properties
2017–2018: George Schwartz, Private Banking Group
2019 - Present: Douglas M. McGarrah, Esq, Foley Hoag LLP