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Why Crowdsourcing City Projects Actually Works for Boston

The city has made a habit of soliciting insight on municipal projects from its well-educated residents—but with strict guidelines.
Bostonians are going to redesign a major feature of the downtown area.
Bostonians are going to redesign a major feature of the downtown area.City of Boston

There may not be a bigger waste of Boston real estate than City Hall Plaza. The large public square sits a mere 400 feet from Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. It's just south of the city's vibrant North End. And a half mile to the west is picturesque Boston Common. Nearly every notable attraction in downtown Boston is within walkable distance of the open-air promenade. But it's a total eyesore—20,000 square feet of vacant brick.

Every now and then it comes alive with a music festival or a giant TV screen set up for a sporting event. Then, like moths to a flame, Bostonians meander to the square. Otherwise, it sits idle and bald. But that may finally change.