Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

Beginning July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019

Last updated: 7/1/18

What Are Capital Projects?

The City is responsible for maintaining a large inventory of capital assets, including roads, bridges, schools, parks, libraries, public safety equipment, city buildings and more. The City’s capital investments enhance our neighborhoods, improve mobility, support the academic agenda of our schools and reinforce public safety with quality emergency response tools.

With Imagine Boston 2030 and other City Planning efforts guiding many of the investments in this plan, projects in the FY19-23 Capital Plan are categorized within the Imagine Boston 2030 initiatives below.

These capital investments are planned and funded through the City’s capital budget, which is separate and distinct from the annual operating budget. The capital plan is primarily funded by borrowing through the issuance of bonds within the City’s fiscally responsible debt affordability limits.

Imagine Boston 2030

Mayor Walsh’s $2.4 billion Imagine Boston FY19-23 capital plan will make critical investments in the City’s infrastructure in every Boston neighborhood, guided by Imagine Boston 2030 and the schools, streets, arts, climate and resilience plans under its umbrella.

More than 14,000 residents have shaped Imagine Boston 2030 by articulating the challenges Boston faces, setting goals for the city in 2030, and generating ideas about policies and investments to help achieve these goals.
Ambitious initiatives

An ambitious set of initiatives form the foundation of the Imagine Boston 2030 plan. Taken together, these initiatives will support Boston's dynamic economy and improve quality of life for residents by:

  • Encouraging affordability;
  • Increasing access to opportunity;
  • Promoting a healthy environment; and
  • Guiding investment in the public realm
Imagine Boston Capital Plan

Last Year, Mayor Walsh launched the Imagine Boston Capital Plan to move Boston residents’ priorities from idea to action, and invest in creating the city Bostonians imagine for the future. This year, under the Imagine Boston 2030 umbrella, the City is investing deeply in the core goals of BuildBPS, Go Boston 2030, Boston Creates, and Climate Ready Boston. An estimated 85% of the investment in the FY19-23 Capital Plan is aligned with the City’s planning efforts:

Moving into the 21st century

Mayor Walsh committed $1 billion over ten years to bring Boston's school buildings into the 21st century, and this Capital Plan launches that investment with funding for:

  • 21st century classrooms;
  • MSBA Accelerated Repair Program partnerships;
  • Completion of projects in the pipeline;
  • School kitchen renovations that support the delivery of fresh, nutritious food; and
  • Reserves for future projects identified by BuildBPS community engagement.
Core initiatives

Boston, in collaboration with State and Federal sources, will invest $967 million over the next five years in implementing the core initiatives outlined in Go Boston 2030:

  • Streets that are safer for all users of our roads and sidewalks, particularly pedestrians and cyclists;
  • Travel that is more reliable and predictable; and
  • Quality transportation choices that improve access to interconnect our neighborhoods for all modes of travel.
Open Space goals

Through the use of Winthrop Square proceeds, City capital dollars, and leveraging external funds, Mayor Walsh plans to carry out early actions to implement Imagine Boston 2030’s Open Space goals, including investing in Franklin Park as a keystone park for the city, completing the Emerald Necklace, and restoring Boston Common to its full vibrancy.

Preparing for climate change

Boston will prepare for climate change by investing City capital dollars and external funding to develop more detailed climate plans for Boston neighborhoods, especially those most at risk for coastal flooding, as recommended in Climate Ready Boston.

Percent for Art Program

The Percent for Art Program demonstrates the City’s leadership and commitment to sustainable funding for the arts by setting aside one percent of the City’s annual capital borrowing for the commissioning of public art.

Spending By Investment Category

Category Through 6/30/17 FY18 Budget FY19 Budget FY20-23 Budget Non-Capital Fund Total
Arts and Culture 597,583 13,242,639 29,416,574 102,143,204 0 145,400,000
Economy 518,450 950,000 1,900,000 10,246,550 0 13,615,000
Education 67,359,434 85,720,576 90,653,386 347,442,521 100,000 591,275,917
Energy and Environment 24,856,162 1,975,000 10,300,212 52,391,096 5,127,000 94,649,470
Government Effectiveness 3,880,198 8,662,139 15,682,840 74,743,381 0 102,968,558
Health 3,030,356 6,008,164 6,133,452 36,296,328 0 51,468,300
Housing 47,263 2,899,735 2,603,002 0 0 5,550,000
Open Space 24,194,541 17,281,658 34,892,592 62,643,722 93,358,720 232,371,233
Public Safety 11,966,296 22,950,000 39,907,148 89,831,556 0 164,655,000
Technology 31,365,582 18,905,977 24,302,045 52,901,390 3,036,200 130,511,194
Transportation 96,366,571 67,968,418 81,879,138 282,691,807 375,435,464 904,341,398
Totals 264,182,436 246,564,306 337,670,389 1,111,331,555 477,057,384 2,436,806,070

Spending By Department

Department Through 6/30/17 FY18 Budget FY19 Budget FY20-23 Budget Non-Capital Fund Total
Boston Centers for Youth and Families 4,334,638 5,594,143 5,752,278 34,448,941 0 50,130,000
Boston Planning and Development Agency 0 1,500,000 1,100,000 400,000 0 3,000,000
Boston Public Library 410,722 9,164,500 26,416,574 92,943,204 0 128,935,000
Boston Public Schools 67,359,434 85,720,576 90,653,386 347,442,521 100,000 591,275,917
Department of Innovation and Technology 30,934,979 15,554,977 20,087,741 43,136,390 0 109,714,087
Emergency Management 0 0 50,000 1,450,000 0 1,500,000
Environment Department 38,400 450,100 8,064,300 47,945,200 5,127,000 61,625,000
Fire Department 2,234,885 3,804,900 14,667,148 58,144,506 0 78,851,439
Inspectional Services Department 0 0 100,000 0 0 100,000
Neighborhood Development 400,449 2,703,139 1,786,412 1,600,000 0 6,490,000
Office of Arts and Culture 0 1,700,000 1,800,000 8,100,000 0 11,600,000
Office of New Urban Mechanics 30,250 35,000 100,000 34,750 0 200,000
Parks and Recreation Department 24,194,541 16,281,658 34,542,592 61,713,722 93,358,720 230,091,233
Police Department 11,534,450 19,400,000 24,690,000 31,854,550 0 87,479,000
Property Management Department 2,400,840 7,865,000 16,659,500 71,020,718 0 97,946,058
Public Health Commission 192,089 2,640,895 1,907,016 5,948,300 0 10,688,300
Public Works Department 107,469,497 56,666,660 73,120,394 270,361,956 344,487,564 852,106,071
Transportation Department 12,647,262 17,482,758 16,173,048 34,786,797 33,984,100 115,073,965
Totals 264,182,436 246,564,306 337,670,389 1,111,331,555 477,057,384 2,436,806,070

FY19 Expenditures Allocation

The City estimates FY19 capital expenditures from all sources will total $337.9 million from all sources. All projects in the capital plan are categorized as Upkeep, Upgrade, New/Major Renovation, Planning, or Matching Funds. The City tracks the overall distribution of these categories to maintain a balance between the upkeep of existing assets and the expansion or introduction of new ones.


Upkeep represents projects that maintain the City’s assets, a fundamental priority of the Capital Plan. In FY19, 22% of projected spending supports Upkeep projects. These include:

  • Roof and masonry repairs;
  • Replacement of play equipment in parks;
  • HVAC and boiler replacement; and
  • Critical repair funds for departments to address relatively small but vital repair projects not covered by routine maintenance.

A substantial portion of the Upkeep category supports on-going bridge, street, sidewalk, and street lighting repairs that ensure the City’s roads and sidewalks are safe and in good condition.


Upgrade represents projects that improve existing assets by adding new capacity or innovations. This year’s upgrade allocations account for 38% of projected spending, and includes projects such as Connect Historic Boston – the redesign of several Downtown streets with support from a Federal grant – and new equipment for the police radio system.

New/Major Renovations

New/Major Renovations represents 34% of the FY19 allocations. New facilities and rehabilitation projects for schools, libraries, parks and community centers enable the City’s facilities to adapt to fit the needs of today’s programs, improve the ‘green’ performance of facilities, and extend the useful life of older assets. Highlights in this category include a new fire house at Engine 42 in Roxbury and BCYF Curley Community Center in South Boston.

Planning or Matching Funds

About 1% of the FY19 budget is assigned to matching fund requirements and to planning projects. Comprehensive planning projects, which analyze a group of buildings or program needs, provide the groundwork for targeted investments in the categories of Upgrade and New/Major Renovations.

Other projects

The Matching fund category includes projects where the City covers the cost of design and engineering services. These expenditures are able to leverage state and federal construction funds on projects such as the new North Washington Street Bridge and the South Bay Harbor Trail.

FY19-FY23 Project Highlights

  • Boston Arts Academy
  • My Way Cafe Kitchen Program
  • BuildBPS: 21st Century Schools Fund
  • Transportation
  • Boylston Street Sidewalks
  • Vision Zero
  • Road and Sidewalk Reconstruction
  • Long Island Bridge
  • Technology
  • Digital Engagement Upgrades
  • Open Space
  • Franklin Park Planning
  • Boston Common Planning
  • Jamaica Pond Pathways & Perimeter
  • Martin's Park
    Energy and Environment
  • Climate Ready Bostont
  • Renew Boston Trust
  • Health
  • BCYF Vine Street Pool
  • BCYF Curley Community Center
  • BCYF Gallivan Community Center
  • Housing
  • Whittier Street Roadways
  • Madison Park Village
  • Arts and Culture
  • Percent for Arts
  • Adams Street Branch Library
  • Roslindale Branch Library
  • Harrison Avenue / Washington Street
  • Dudley Street
  • Public Safety
  • New East Boston Police Station
  • New Engine 17 and 42 Fire Stations
  • Government Effectiveness
  • City Hall and Plaza Master Plan
  • Youth Fund