Who We Are
How We Work
Community Cultural Development
Urban Planning
Community Economic Development
Strategic Planning
Selected Clients

Urban Planning and Design

  • The Boston Redevelopment Authority engaged Community Partners Consultants to complete two major studies to help activate the city’s waterfront. The first study established cultural, civic, educational and nonprofit uses for the legislatively mandated “facilities of public accommodation” for Boston’s waterfront. The second report, a Waterfront Activation Network Plan for the Charlestown Navy Yard, created a design for public access and use of the Harborwalk and waterfront areas of the historic Navy Yard.
  • The National Trust for Historic Preservation sought proven strategies to help address the growing problem of demolition and abandonment of historic buildings. Community Partners researched and wrote Rebuilding Community: Best Practices Toolkit for Historic Preservation and Redevelopment to highlight successful examples of historic preservation for housing and community revitalization. The toolkit offers examples as diverse as state financing incentives for rehabilitating historic buildings for housing in Vermont to an artist overlay district for the former mill town in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts. Each example summarizes project impacts, factors for success, and offers tips for others. The publication is available from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
  • The City of Worcester and its arts and culture community were looking for ways to coordinate efforts and focus activities for culture, entertainment, and artist live/work space. The designation of the new Arts District along Main Street in Worcester led to Community Partners’ completion of the Worcester Arts District Master Plan for the Worcester Arts District Task Force, ARTSWorcester, and the City of Worcester. Working with a diverse set of stakeholders, Community Partners’ plan combined urban design and economic development strategies as well as a detailed approach for implementation. The Plan was reported as being “visionary while maintaining a firm grounding in economic realities” in the Worcester press and received awards from the American Planning Association and the Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • The National Endowment for the Arts recognized that mayors play a pivotal role in city building. By coordinating the Northeast Mayors Institute on City Design, in conjunction with the NEA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, mayors were educated about their role in city design and development and addressed specific design challenges in their communities.
  • The Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities sought to improve the quality of design in the Commonwealth. As the first Director of Design and Development, Adele Fleet Bacow created new programs as diverse as bridge design, highway landscape design, public finance, the state’s Main Street Program, rural communities, artists housing, and cultural facility development in partnership with other state agencies and cities and towns across the state. The lessons learned in these programs and strategies to work effectively with public officials are highlighted in her book Designing the City: A Guide for Advocates and Public Officials. The effectiveness of this work, funded in part by several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, was recognized with a Presidential Design Achievement Award.
  • The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority recognized the potential of the Commonwealth’s bridges as an avenue for public art. This creative initiative involved planning and community involvement for the “Gateway of Color” Bridge Design Project in conjunction with public works artist Stan Edmister. The project, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, resulted in new color schemes for repainting bridges and viaducts along the Turnpike, an educational component for schoolchildren with the Massachusetts Pre-Engineering Program, and production of a video documenting the innovative results.
  • By creating the Governor’s Design Awards Program, design excellence by a variety of players in the public and private sectors in Massachusetts was highlighted. While Director of the Design and Development Program for the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, Adele Fleet Bacow implemented this program in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Boston Society of Architects. The Governor’s Design Awards Program included extensive citizen involvement, public education, and recognition.
  • Adele Fleet Bacow’s work at the state arts council created a unique partnership in bridge design between the Massachusetts Department of Public Works and the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities. This partnership resulted in innovations in bridge design, a major conference and workshops, revision of the state’s guidelines for bridge design, and publication of Bridge Design: Aesthetics and Developing Technologies



Activating the waterfront for Boston Redevelopment Authority


Rebuilding Community Toolkit for National Trust for Historic Preservation


Designing the City by Adele Fleet Bacow offers inspiring examples and tangible advice for revitalizing cities



Award-winning Worcester Arts District Master Plan


Governor's Design Awards Program

17 James Street, Suite One
Brookline, MA 02446
telephone: 617 608 3424