Health & Environment People

Boston Harbor Now Adds Director of Planning to Develop, Implement Vision for Waterfront

Meera Deean brings architectural design, urban planning expertise to new role

Boston Harbor Now announced today the hiring of architectural and urban designer Meera Deean as Director of Planning. In this role, Deean will lead the organization’s planning work, collaborating with the City of Boston, other waterfront communities, and business and civic partners to develop a comprehensive plan for Boston Harbor. Deean will oversee a robust public engagement process designed to grow the constituency for Boston Harbor and address strategic priorities including development, equitable access, climate resilience, parks, infrastructure, and industry.

“The planning decisions we make today for the Harbor will determine the future of the larger region, and in an era of climate change, a building boom, and aging transportation infrastructure, the stakes couldn’t be higher,” said Kathy Abbott, President and CEO of Boston Harbor Now. “Meera’s involvement in local harbor planning efforts and regional expertise will be invaluable as we work to develop a more integrated, proactive approach to waterfront planning that includes the voices of residents, business, and visitors to the Harbor and Islands.”

“The cleanup of the Boston Harbor has created enormous opportunity, and planning is critical to ensuring we don’t become victims of our own success as our Harbor continues to evolve,” said Deean. “Key to creating an inclusive vision is collaboration, and I look forward to partnering with the public, private, and non-profit sectors as we begin this exciting phase of work.”

Deean joins Boston Harbor Now from Utile, a Boston-based architecture and planning design firm, where she most recently worked with HR&A Advisors on Imagine Boston 2030, Boston’s first citywide planning effort in 50 years. She has also managed projects for the Boston Planning and Development Agency, MassDevelopment, and the City of Long Beach, California.

Born in Baltimore and raised in East Tennessee, Meera studied art history at Williams College before receiving a M. Arch. from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Meera serves on the board of the Community Design Resource Center of Boston and the editorial board of Architecture Boston magazine, and recently completed a three-year term as co-chair of the Urban Design Committee of the Boston Society of Architects.

About Boston Harbor Now:

Boston Harbor Now works in partnership with others in the public, for profit, and non-profit sectors to plan, advocate and activate a thriving waterfront, harbor, and Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park.

Boston Harbor Now’s comprehensive approach to the harbor prioritizes equitable public access through parks and open spaces including the HarborWalk; well-designed infrastructure and ferries; maritime industry and other marine-related economic drivers; mixed-use and mixed-income climate-resilient waterfront development; programming that promotes recreational and educational uses; and maintenance of the clean harbor.

(Image credit to Meera Deean; Imagine Boston 2030)