New BRA director of planning announced

Mayor Martin Walsh announced at his State of the City address that Sara Myerson, the current executive director of Imagine Boston 2030, will become the new director of planning at the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), according to a press release.

Myerson, who is the former executive director of the City Office of Olympic Planning, has been chosen to integrate the BRA’s ongoing neighborhood planning initiatives with the citywide planning process that she has led since last fall.

John Fitzgerald, deputy director of Imagine Boston 2030, will serve as interim executive director, while a search for Myerson’s replacement is conducted.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to lead the City’s planning work at such a pivotal moments in Boston’s history,” said Myerson, according to the press release. “Our economy is booming, and we’re doing more proactive and comprehensive planning than ever before. I look forward to building on this momentum and working closely with community members to achieve a shared vision for the future of our city.”

The BRA is currently working with community members in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and South Boston on two initiatives to guide development along transit-oriented corridors in those neighborhoods. PLAN Dot Ave is focused on the portion of Dorchester Avenue between Broadway and Andrew Square stations, and PLAN JP/Rox is focused on the stretch of Columbus Avenue and Washington Street between Jackson Square and Forest Hills stations.

Both of these community planning processes, which started last July, are over halfway complete. The BRA hopes to propose updated zoning for these areas in the spring.

Myerson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Middlebury College and a master’s in urban planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She has held a senior role at the nonprofit organization Preservation of Affordable Housing and positions at HR&A Advisors and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.

“Sara’s unique skill set and background in affordable housing and real estate finance will be a valuable asset as we work to synthesize our targeted neighborhood planning efforts with the citywide plan,” said Brian Golden, director of the BRA, according to the press release.

Myerson’s nomination is expected to be formally approved at the BRA’s next board meeting in February.

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