Events & Resources

News for Urban Affairs and City Planning

MET Students Assist Quincy with Coastal Protection Plan

City Planning and Urban Affairs

The Quincy Sun and Patriot Ledger both recently covered a cooperative effort between students of MET’s City Planning and Urban Affairs master’s programs, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and the City of Quincy. Their goal: to create a Coastal Adaptation Plan for Boston’s neighbor community. City Planner Dennis Harrington called the plan a critical step in protecting residents “from climate change impacts such as coastal and inland flooding, increased heat, and intense precipitation”—and in helping Quincy balance both the economy and environmental protection. A public forum is scheduled for Earth Day, April 22.

Read more in the Sun and the Patriot Ledger >>

Symposium students work on Climate Action Plan for Quincy, Massachusetts

Climate Quincy meeting

Climate Quincy logoThis year, the students of the 2015 Boston Urban Symposium, which is the graduate capstone course for students in the City Planning and Urban Affairs Program at the Metropolitan College at BU, are focusing on creating the framework for the first-ever Climate Action and Preparedness Plan (CAPP) for the City of Quincy, MA. During the semester, the Symposium students will consult for and collaborate with the Planning and Community Development (PCD) Office of the City of Quincy, MA with external input from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and other allied state and municipal agencies.

Though the overall objective is to create a CAPP framework, the Symposium is primarily designed to provide students with the opportunity to navigate in a real-world scenario that simulates a professional planning environment where collaborative cultures (among political, bureaucratic, and educational entities) need to be carefully fostered to leverage maximum benefits for the citizens.

This course includes researching climatic data and trends; constructing and analyzing qualitative survey data and quantitative information; developing community outreach and educational initiatives; furthering stakeholder coordination and engagement; conducting vulnerability assessment and prioritization; mapping and displaying various trends and risk areas; and writing a comprehensive framework and report. One of the primary objectives of the course is to foster equity in planning, while making a real difference in an economically distressed neighborhood by promoting awareness of impacts and developing action steps to effectively adapt to threats of climate change.

The project deliverables will culminate in an exhaustive report that identifies specific climatic and anthropogenic vulnerabilities of climate change in Quincy and includes a vulnerability analysis for neighborhoods such as Germantown and Hough’s Neck, whose populations are most vulnerable to climate-change impacts.

With guidance from Professor Madhu Dutta-Koehler, the lead instructor for the course, Professor John Weiss, who serves as the course advisor, and other BU faculty and executive staff, by the end of the spring 2015 semester the project report will include a place-based framework that outlines a city-wide action and preparedness plan that aligns with the cultural and behavioral contexts of Quincy’s neighborhoods and that can be tailored and ultimately replicated and transferred to other cities across the region and nation.

Concrete collaboration has already taken place; on February 23rd, at the start of the semester, the BU Symposium Team met with MAPC representative and Senior Environmental Planner Julie Conroy, who is also an alumna of the program, and Quincy Planning Department representatives Robert Stevens and Elizabeth Manning, lead planners for the project, to present project outlines and synthesize initial findings.

This joint effort, which coincides with the first-ever comprehensive climate adaptation planning initiative for the Commonwealth’s cities, led by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, is intended to contribute to the statewide discussions on this crucial topic.

For further information on the Symposium project and activities, connect with us:

CQ Logo 2015 Urban Symposium Website
YouTube Logo Climate Quincy Video Channel
Twitter Logo Climate Quincy Twitter Feed
Facebook Logo Climate Quincy Facebook Page

MET’s Regan Explains Why the T Broke and How to Fix It

Back in 2007, Terrance Regan, a MET adjunct professor of city planning and urban affairs, wrote a report for the Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission on the precarious condition of the state’s public transit system. Today, he’s using the current snow-related breakdowns in the Green Line and other MBTA services as a prime teaching moment. Read this urban transit expert’s honest opinions in BU Today.

“Climate Change & Contingent Adaptation: Strategies for South Asian Mega-Cities”

On Wednesday, February 25, join interim program coordinator Dr. Madhu Dutta-Koehler for a Pardee House Seminar on how resource-constrained Asian mega-cities can prepare for climate change.
Learn more and register »

Master of Urban Affairs Graduate Receives City’s Public Service Award

Master of Urban Affairs alum Dion Irish (MET’07), who serves as executive director of Boston’s Office of Fair Housing and Equity, received a Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Award from the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. The annual award celebrates the city’s most dedicated workers, such as Irish, who was recognized for developing and managing numerous collaborative programs with other city offices.

Irish was one of nine city employees and two “City Champions”—and one of two MET alumni, along with Annie Wilcox —honored at the awards ceremony on October 14, 2014, at the Seaport World Trade Center. Read more in the Boston Globe or the Boston Herald.

Enrique Silva Quoted on WBZ News Radio

Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs and City Planning Enrique Silva was quoted in “Going No where in Boston Traffic: Winding Streets and the Big Dig,” on WBZ News Radio 1030, November 18. Read the article and listen to the broadcast on CBS Boston.

Free Forum—Regionalism: a Global Perspective

The Edge is a forum on urban and planning issues sponsored by MET. It is open to the public and free of charge. This month’s presentation is titled Regionalism: a Global Perspective, and will focus on how regions formed across the world, as well as the challenges faced in those areas. Specifically, this talk will compare the urbanization of both the Boston-metro area and China.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
6 – 8 p.m.
871 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 129

About the speakers:
Author and planner Dr. James C. O’Connell of the Northeast Regional Office of the National Park Service, will speak. His most recent book is The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Suburban Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth.

Assistant Professor at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Dr. Jinhua Zhao, will also present. His most recent project examines the interaction between governmental policy making and the public’s behavioral response in the context of China’s urban development.

Madison Park Housing Energy Efficiency research project marked completion of the summer phase

The Boston University Madison Park Housing Energy Efficiency project team joined industry partners and the Madison Park Village community in Roxbury, MA, on August 20th to celebrate the end of the summer research phase. This initial stage consisted of base-line research to understand behavior patterns related to energy consumption in the community. The group’s ultimate objective is to provide improved information and incentives for both landlord and tenants in order to reduce the cost of energy and increase efficiency. MET was represented at the event by Enrique Silva—Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs and City Planning, and one of four faculty members making up the BU team. Read more at BU’s Clean Energy & Environmental Sustainability Initiative

Silva published on the political tensions caused by public-private public works projects in Chile, 1990–2005

Citizenship Studies, Volume 17, Issue 5, 2013
Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs and City Planning, Enrique Silva, has authored “Managing the citizen: privatized public works and the bureaucratic management of citizenship in post-authoritarian Chile, 1990–2005” published by Taylor Francis, a leader in international academic works. Silva’s treatise focuses on the state bureaucracy charged with the daily management of large, urban infrastructure projects and the political tensions they generated, illustrating the messy, unpredictable translation of macro-state policies into micro-strategies of social management and definition of rights. Read the abstract at Taylor Francis Online


MET Professor Enrique Silva Oversees the Mirebalais Planning Initiative in Haiti

Metropolitan College Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs and City Planning Enrique Silva is lead principal investigator on the Mirebalais Planning Initiative (MPI), a project resulting from a partnership between Boston University, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the University of the West Indies. The $150,000 project is partially funded by a $75,000 grant from the Kellogg Foundation.

Intended to expand community leadership in Mirebalais, Haiti, in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the goal of the MPI is to galvanize local community associations, residents, and municipal authorities around planning, economic and human development projects. Projects focusing on concrete priorities such as solid waste management and the impact  of the Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante Mirebalais Teaching Hospital will demonstrate the possibility of municipal-led planning and innovation in Haiti—and provide the groundwork for continued municipal leadership in the development of the infrastructure and resources of post-quake Haiti.

Silva will be coordinating the partner institutions, and overseeing a series of community workshops intended to expand local institutional capacity and encourage the engagement of citizens in planning and community decision-making. The first workshop will focus on solid waste management and water. The MPI and its workshops will benefit from the participation of BU faculty who can contribute valuable subject matter expertise.

Silva was the first faculty member to receive a fellowship from MET’s Patricia W. Chadwick (MET’75) Fund for Professional Development, for his proposal “Connecting the Dots: Haiti and the Multiple Sites of Planning Research and Pedagogy.” Silva used the award to pursue the financial resources necessary for longer-term engagement in Haiti, securing the funding from the Kellogg Foundation for the MPI collaboration.

Real Estate Studies at BU

The MCP program has entered into an agreement with the BU Center for Professional Education (CPE) to deepen the programs' course offerings and expertise in real estate development and finance.  

Starting in Fall 2011, MCP students may enroll in the Commercial Real Estate or the Real Estate Finance certificate programs (8 course programs).  MCP students who successfully complete either one of the certificate programs may apply the courses toward their degree requirements (the equivalent of 3 graduate level elective courses). This option is not currently available for MUA students.

For details on the agreement, student eligibility and course waiver, contact Daniel LeClair

Preservation Studies at BU

As of Fall 2011, BU MCP and MUA students will have access to select Historic Preservation Studies courses as standard City Planning and Urban Affairs electives. In partnership with the  BU Preservations Studies Program (,  key preservations studies courses will be listed as MET UA courses under the Fall and Spring MCP and MUA course schedule.  Those preservations studies courses listed as MET UA can be treated as any other UA elective course for our degree students.  For details or questions, contact Enrique Silva at

A Look Back at Haiti

As the year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti approaches, we take a look back on the journey Enrique Silva and other MET community members made to Haiti to discuss rebuilding and recover efforts with government officials.

Watch this video on YouTube


Bicycles and the MBTA

In an effort to make public transportation more accessible, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is striving to accommodate Boston cyclists.

MBTA Project Director Erik Scheier said the MBTA is adding bike-parking stations for cyclists in 95 percent of commuter rail stations and equipping 70 percent of busses with bike racks. Click here for more details

BU MCP/MUA Internship & Employment Information


BU MCP/MUA working with Haiti

for details, click on the following links:

BU Today: "Students Help Produce Maps of Devastated Areas for Relief and Rebuilding"

BU Today: "Haiti Leaders, BU Team Share Long-Term Goals"

WBUR: "BU Team In Haiti Works To Transform As They Rebuild"

BU Today: "Ground Up, Rethinking Haiti"

Pardee Center: "Experts Discuss Future Challenges in Dealing with Disasters"

Boston Globe: "Fatal Magnetism of the City"