In July 2017, Mayor Walsh released Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in more than 50 years. One area highlighted in that plan is Upham’s Corner. Specifically, the plan envisions an enhanced neighborhood through investments in housing, small businesses, and transportation. The plan also calls for the creation of the city’s first Arts Innovation District in Upham’s Corner.

The City is currently on a path to make that vision a reality through our Upham’s Corner Implementation Process (UCI). The City and several partner organizations own and control many important physical and cultural assets in the neighborhood. This has allowed us to work collaboratively on a transformative and community-led process that will guide the building of a new library, enhancements to the Strand Theater, development of affordable housing, and support for arts and small businesses.

Short-term Activations

The City of Boston believes that a short-term activation of empty spaces in Upham’s Corner will help foster a more thriving community and reinforce the area as an Arts Innovation District. To do this, the City of Boston, in partnership with several community organizations, will launch a series of programmed activities in the Upham’s Corner neighborhood starting in Summer 2018 through the closing of any space for construction. While this RFI specifically concerns the property at 555 Columbia Road, there are a number of other spaces in Upham’s Corner where we envision increased programming or activation.

Activations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Guided historic walking tours
  • Boston Artist in Residence work-space and artist resource space
  • Community engagement spaces
  • Market for food, resources, and arts/artisan/small businesses

Interested in getting involved with activating the empty buildings in Upham’s Corner?

Submit your ideas to natalia.urtubey@boston.gov or imagine@boston.gov by May 4, 2018 no later than 5:00 p.m.

Request for Ideas


RFI is released

April 6, 2018

Activation Space walkthrough

April 12, 2018 (3 PM-7 PM)

Activation Space walkthrough

April 18, 2018 (8 AM-11 AM)

Last date to submit questions about the RFI

April 20, 2018

Responses to questions (from the City)

April 24, 2018

RFI submissions due

May 4, 2018 by 5 PM


Contact Us


Sign up for Upham’s Corner email updates

Sign up

Follow us on social media


Translate »