The City of People, Places, and Things.

Update! We're extending the deadline for applications by one week! Applications are now due by April 10th 11:59 PM EST. You can find the application at

Also! If you have any questions or problems with the application, please email us at We are around all evening and will answers your questions immediately.

Two years ago, we invited designers, artists, and engineers to reimagine Boston's public spaces. Designers made a bridge more playful, parks more beautiful and community-oriented, and the stairs of City Hall 400% more fabulous.

This year, New Urban Mechanics, the Boston Art Commission, and the City's Streets cabinet are seeking project ideas that explore the interplay of analog and digital in our streetscape. It's a theme that we're calling the City of People, Places, and Things.

Three Challenges.

We have three challenges for this year's Public Space Invitational: analog, digital, and a bonus challenge.

Analog Challenge.

With our partner, the Boston Society of Architects, we're asking for analog approaches and experiments in the streetscape: whether it's paint in the streets to calm a busy road or thoughtful, lightweight structures that make a community more cohesive. These are simple fixes with simple materials, which we hope could scale across the city.

Digital Challenge.

We are partnering with Microsoft Technology and Civic Engagement to look for projects that experiment with technology, sensors, and a generally connected world to improve the streetscape.

Whether it's helping residents and visitors understand the unseen nature of a place or improving the citizen experience of the city, we are seeking forward-thinking, human-centered creative ideas that highlight the Internet of People, Place, and Things.

Bonus Challenge: Rethinking Mattapan Station.

How can we make bus shelters more inviting, beautiful, and comfortable?

We are partnering with the MBTA and MassArt's Matthew Hinçman to give designers the chance to reimagine Mattapan Station.


You can apply at

Make sure your application is submitted by April 10th 11:59 PM EST.

Project Guidelines

  • Submissions should include a proposed budget, which should be in range of $1000 - $9500.
  • Submissions should aim to make civic space, infrastructure, or civic processes more inviting, functional, user friendly, and fun.
  • Submissions should be durable and capable of lasting under our New England weather conditions.
  • Submissions should be implementable within the next 6 months.
  • Submissions are encouraged to have a community partner.
  • Submitted ideas should aspire to have an inherent sense of wonderment and discovery built into them.
  • Submissions that are not geographically specific should include a preferred list of locations for installation. Unless you are responding to the bus shelter challenge, suggested locations should be owned by the City of Boston. You can view parcel ownership at the City's Assessing Department's website.
  • Ideas that can be replicated and scaled are most compelling.

More questions? Email us at