The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and the Turn It Around program met at City Hall last week in anticipation of the first youth seat that will be included in the One Charlestown Impact Advisory Group (IAG) review process.
It is the first time in recent memory that a young person was nominated and served on an IAG in the city, though the director of Turn It Around was nominated by State Rep. Dan Ryan during the previous IAG for One Charlestown.
“The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) welcomed Councilor Lydia Edwards and students from the Charlestown Coalition’s Turn it Around program to speak with BPDA staff about the City’s ongoing planning and development efforts, as well as different ways they could become involved,” read a statement from the BPDA.
“We are so excited to lead here in Charlestown,” said Councilor Edwards. “I’m not the least bit surprised that these young Townies demanded, and got, a seat at the table. They love Charlestown, their home, and are so honored to help design the future. I want to acknowledge the work of Turn it Around. That organization is doing such incredible work with our youth.”
The visit came on the heels of Councilor Edwards’ request to include a youth seat on the IAG for the One Charlestown redevelopment project. The kids toured the BPDA’s model room to better understand the City’s development landscape. Members the BPDA staff then explained the agency’s mission and spoke to the kids about the planning, development, review and approval processes.
The visit was capped off with an active discussion about the importance of community engagement, specifically as it relates to getting Boston’s younger residents to participate in shaping the future of their neighborhoods.
The review of the new One Charlestown, developed now by Leggat-McCall, is expected to begin this spring.