Boston calls for ideas to ‘reimagine’ public spaces

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BOSTON – Public spaces targeted by a City Hall design competition seeks ideas that would “reimagine” their appearance, Mayor Marty Walsh announced Friday.

“This competition serves as a great opportunity for Boston’s talented and creative community to show us how we can use pilot projects to improve the functionality and attraction to our public spaces,” Walsh said in a statement.

Contestants should offer ideas that “aspire to have an inherent sense of wonderment and discovery built into them,” according to contest guidelines. They should be ready for implementation within six months.

The design competition, run by the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in partnership with the Boston Art Commission and the City’s Streets cabinet, set an April 3 deadline for submissions from designers, artists, engineers and others with ideas on how to make civic space, infrastructure, or civic processes more inviting, functional and ultimately, fun, according to the city.

Up to five projects will be selected and winning teams will receive up to $9,500 for construction and implementation of each project. Submissions should include a budget of between $1,000 and $9,500, according to the city.

This year’s Public Space Invitational will feature three categories: an analog competition to use traditional architectural and design approaches to improve a streetscape, and a bonus contest to beautify Mattapan Station bus shelters.

“Through this competition, we are building on our mission to create thriving, healthy, and innovative civic spaces across our city,” Walsh said.

In 2014, the first challenge resulted in nine winning projects, including a tidal vibraphone at the Congress Street bridge over Fort Point Channel and pop-up learning opportunities.