Jan 26, 2023 - Real Estate

Wu ices out the BPDA

Photo illustration of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu with lines radiating from her.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston's planning agency will soon lose its authority over most city planning, Mayor Michelle Wu said last night in her first State of the City address.

Driving the news: Wu said she'll sign an executive order today establishing a new advisory council as a precursor to a new department that will take over many of the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s responsibilities.

What they're saying: “Our vision is for Boston to sustainably reach our peak population of 800,000 residents with the housing and schools, parks and public transit to support that growth," Wu said last night, according to the Dorchester Reporter.

How it works: The new department will be closer to city hall’s purview and will coordinate with Wu and city urban designers.

Wu also pledged to end the use of fossil fuels for housing projects, city-owned construction and renovation projects.

  • The mayor offered housing developers free city-owned land if their projects benefit the surrounding community.

The bottom line: Wu's move makes good on her campaign promise to upend planning and make it a central responsibility of the mayor's office.


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