Real Estate Development

  1. Questions

In this module, you explored competing public and private visions for real estate development and learned this competition can be mediated through certain regulatory processes using different types of plans and decision-making structures. You explored the content through the lens of the Big Dig and saw how the competing visions for the Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) Project contributed to the evolution of the brief. The brief resulted in the Rose Kennedy Greenway, which generated both public and private value for Boston. In Unit 3, you saw how proposals to develop the Harbor Garage have been stalled by the differences between the public vision for the property – a vision that derives in part from the Greenway District Guidelines – and the private developer’s vision.

Based on the content in this module, answer the following questions related to the impact of competing public and private visions on the real estate development process. Reflect on the relationship between public and private domains and how they influence one another in the making of cities. In this assignment, you are required to assess the impact that competing public and private visions can have on the real estate development process. You are also required to discuss how the multi-tiered public regulation of private real estate development functions as a means of managing or resolving competing visions. You may use the cases in this module or examples from a city of your choice to support your answers.

Question 1

What are the implications of having so much participation and negotiation in Boston’s development review process? Do you think a clearer set of rules would mitigate conflict more effectively than a negotiated process and achieve a better balance between various interests? Justify your response and mention who may benefit from increased participation and negotiation.

(Max. 250 words)

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Question 2

Recall what you learned about multi-tier public regulations in Unit 1. Do you think multi-tiered public regulations are just additional barriers to private development, or are they a necessary part of mediating competing visions and making good cities? Explain your answer.

(Max. 200 words)

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Question 3

With reference to the Big Dig and the Harbor Garage project, do you think that Boston’s regulatory review process gives the public domain the right level of control over the private domain? Are these controls sufficient for resolving competing visions, and do they lead to better projects and cities? Explain your answer and refer to the fine line between public and private domains.

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