With the rapid progression of internet communications technology, the transportation landscape in Metro Boston has shifted dramatically to incorporate real-time information sharing into digital mobility platforms. From ride-hailing to bike sharing, it's sometimes hard to keep up with new developments in the personal mobility sector. One mode that has yet to experience this high tech influence is old-fashioned carpooling between peers-until now. On March 21, A Better City TMA and Allston Brighton TMA co-sponsored a panel where we heard from rising leaders in this space at Waze Carpool, rideamigos and Scoop about how their platforms are rethinking carpooling and what it could mean for our city. Special thanks to the Broad Institute for hosting the event.
On the morning of March 6th, the A Better City Transportation Advisory Committee invited members to attend an intimate conversation with Steve Kadish, Chair of Governor Baker’s Commission on the Future of Transportation. In the presentation, Chairman Kadish broke down the commission's 5 major categories with a total of 18 recommendations. Kathryn Carlson and Tom Ryan of A Better City discussed the Update on Transporation Finance working document, notable coverage and how A Better City’s transportation efforts can advance and implement report goals into action. You can view the presentation here and read the entire recap here.
On February 12, A Better City hosted a meeting about the findings from the recently released Carbon Free Boston report, and the next steps the City is planning to build on these findings. The Boston Green Ribbon Commission was asked by Mayor Marty Walsh to undertake this report. They selected the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Boston University to conduct the deep research, modeling, and analysis of the buildings, electric power, transportation, and waste sectors to understand their greenhouse gas emission contributions and potential pathways to reach the City’s carbon neutrality goal by 2050. Read the event recap here and view the slides here.
On November 14th, A Better City welcomed global transit experts to discuss lessons learned in reimagining and rebuilding regional rail systems as part of the Partners in Public Dialogue series at the Old South Meeting House. Read the entire event recap here and review the slides here.
On Tuesday, April 17, a full house of commercial facility owners and managers, and energy storage experts and vendors joined A Better City, Boston Green Ribbon Commission, and Sustainable Buildings Initiative members and partners at Wilmer Hale for a panel event and the launch of A Better City's new report, Harnessing the Power of Energy Storage in Boston's Commercial Buildings.
Attendees heard from expert speakers on two panels. The first panel explored current Massachusetts policies, incentives, and the economics for energy storage systems in Boston.
The second panel highlighted examples of cutting-edge projects recently implemented in the Boston area that utilize financing models ranging from direct ownership to shared savings agreements.
Panelists shared key storage use cases for commercial buildings, including demand management, grid services, and emergency power for resiliency. They underscored that energy storage provides commercial building owners with flexibility to deliver power where and when it is needed at a given time. One of the key takeaways from the discussions is that energy storage has reached a tipping point where many commercial building owners in Boston can realize cost effective paybacks on installations by taking advantage of current incentives and available technologies. Increased deployment of energy storage, particularly when paired with renewable energy, will also help the City of Boston reach its ambitious carbon reduction goals.
A Better City’s Sustainable Buildings Initiative and the Green Ribbon Commission’s Commercial Real Estate Working Group, managed by A Better City, hosted a panel discussion and building tour exploring the role of net zero energy and net zero emissions buildings in meeting the mayor’s commitment to make Boston carbon neutral by 2050.
Opening and Closing Remarks
A Better City is managing the development of conceptual design proposal for retrofitting Phillips Square (Chinatown). For these efforts, we partnered with the Boston Transportation Department and Boston Planning and Design Agency, and hired Stantec to provide design consulting services. In March and May, the project team convened two design charrettes with the local community, including members of the project’s advisory group, made up of leaders from Chinatown-based community organizations. The City of Boston plans to implement a semi-permanent version of the finalized conceptual design proposal in summer of 2017. This pilot will help us test the conceptual urban design this summer and evaluate its success before committing to a permanent transformation of the site. The next design charrette will take place the second week of June 2017.
Massachusetts has a wealth of knowledge in the placemaking work, but it is often undermined by the lack of communication and collaboration among those regulating, financing, and implementing placemaking projects. The Routes to Placemaking Workshop aimed to bridge these gaps by convening experts and providing a temporary platform for peer-to-peer learning. Consisting of a networking session, short presentations, and breakout discussions, the Routes to Placemaking Workshop focused on unpacking a selection of placemaking strategies typically employed to improve community spaces.
This event reviewed the A Better City-facilitated Joint Solar Power Purchase Agreement--the largest renewable-energy project ever to be constructed in the U.S. through an alliance of diverse buyers
Placemaking is a people-centered approach to the planning and design of public space. During this discussion the inner mechanics of placemaking and ways to position Boston as a national leader in this field of work were explored.
A Better City and the Green Ribbon Commission hosted a solutions-oriented Symposium and Expo on climate preparedness. The Symposium marked a shift from planning to action in the citywide Climate Ready Boston initiative and focused on technologies, policies and actions to prepare the City’s buildings, businesses and districts for the future.
Over 250 policymakers, experts and other stakeholders gathered at the State of the Built Environment conference on June 7th to debate these issues and many others facing the Greater Boston region. The sessions were anchored by A Better City's key focus areas and the first State of the Built Environment report was released at the event.
Conference speakers included city and state agency leaders who are responsible for the management and development of our region's infrastructure, and the keynote address was given by Senate President Stan Rosenberg.
Severe weather events, a changing climate, and rising sea levels present a direct threat to our region's infrastructure and economic prosperity. We heard from experts who have begun the important task of identifying these risks and developing strategies for investment in resilient infrastructure.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Hosted by WilmerHale, 60 State Street, Boston MA 02109
In June 2015, A Better City held a panel event that shared perspectives from economists, business leaders and legislators on the importance of public transportation in relation to the region's economy. The event was kicked off by ABC Chairman Mike Cantalupa of Boston Properties and the discussion was facilitated by Doug McGarrah of Foley Hoag.
A Better City, along with the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and Commonwealth Magazine, hosted the 2014 Democratic and the Republican candidates for Governor in a two part series “Blueprint for the Bay State.”
The moderator for these events was R.D. Sahl, Senior Advisor at Denterlein, and questions were posed by Rick Dimino, President & CEO, A Better City, Daniel O'Connell, President & CEO, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and Bruce Mohl, Editor, CommonWealth Magazine.
Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Forum
Tuesday May 20, 2014
District Hall 75 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210
The Democratic forum featured candidates Joe Avellone, Don Berwick, Steve Grossman and Juliette Kayyem.
Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Forum
Monday June 2, 2014
District Hall 75 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210
The Republican forum featured candidates Charlie Baker and Mark Fisher.