Michelle Wu

Mayor Wu Plans to Begin Overhaul of City's Planning and Zoning

Among other goals, Mayor Michelle Wu outlined her plan to "modernize" zoning and planning in Boston

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Boston Mayor Michelle Wu gave her first ever State of the City address Wednesday night at the MGM Music Hall at Fenway, taking the opportunity to reflect on her time so far in office and also outline her administration's vision for Boston's future.

Mayor Wu spoke about housing, investing money in schools, efforts to make Boston a greener city and more.

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During her remarks, the mayor said she would be signing an executive order on Thursday aimed toward achieving one of her goals as mayor — modernizing the city's zoning code.

Mayor Michelle Wu reflected on her first 14 months as Boston's mayor and talked about her plans for 2023.

Wu said she would be signing an order to establish a Planning Advisory Council to fully integrate long-range planning and start the process of updating the zoning code. The council will be led by Chief of Planning, Arthur Jemison, and will feature cabinet chiefs who are in charge of capital planning, transportation, climate, housing and the arts.

The Wu administration plans to shift planning efforts from the Boston Planning and Development Agency to a new City Planning and Design Department, "to expand planning and urban design as a coordinated effort that guides our growth."

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu reflected Tuesday on her first year in office and talked about the issues she will focus on in 2023, including affordable housing.

"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," Mayor Wu said during her address. "Next week we’ll file a home-rule petition to formally end the decades-old urban renewal mission of eradicating so-called “blight and urban decay,” and instead rededicate our resources toward Boston’s urgent needs today—resiliency, affordability, and equity."

Wu said that the changes will restore planning as a central function of city government for the first time since the 1960s.

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