BRA Changes Name to BPDA, Hopes You’ll Trust Them Now

The first name-change in the agency's history.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority, the quasi-public agency whose 60-year history has been marred by accusations of cronyism and the clear-cutting of the entire West End, has a new identity.

The beleaguered building authority will henceforth be known as the Boston Planning and Development Agency. The city paid Boston-based innovation design firm Continuum—the same folks responsible for the Swiffer mop—no more than $670,000 for the 14-week rebranding effort, the rest of which Mayor Marty Walsh will unveil Tuesday afternoon.

“Let’s face it. ‘Authority’ is so authoritarian,” BPDA director Brian Golden told reporters Monday. “It’s not just a word. It does create a meaning.”

The BPDA hopes to improve its “legitimacy and credibility” amongst Boston residents, after its previous incarnation developed a stubborn reputation as a rubber stamp for high-profile developers while community concerns fell on unsympathetic ears.

“We do planning and development, and we’re doing it for the benefit of the people of Boston,” Golden said. “It’s more than a name change. It’s about a cultural change within the organization and how we interface with the people of Boston in their neighborhoods.”