Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

Beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2018

Last updated: 4/13/17

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 FY18-22 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 $2.08 billion FY18-22 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

In FY18, Mayor Walsh is launching 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. 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 77% of the investment in the FY18-22 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; and
  • reserves for future projects identified by BuildBPS community engagement.
Core initiatives

Boston, in collaboration with State and Federal sources, will invest $709 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 dollars and outside 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, funded for the first time in this Capital Plan, 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 6/30/16 FY17 Budget FY18 Budget FY19-22 Budget Non-Capital Fund Total
Arts and Culture 4,294,414 5,847,277 17,903,292 111,516,539 0 139,561,522
Economy 518,450 403,733 3,970,000 10,327,817 0 15,220,000
Education 22,771,793 50,989,196 110,104,985 415,505,293 275,000 599,645,567
Energy and Environment 22,357,384 2,624,386 2,773,600 14,704,368 0 42,459,738
Government Effectiveness 1,949,730 2,313,328 10,362,075 91,426,425 0 106,051,558
Health 4,706,130 10,144,742 9,727,365 26,806,438 0 51,384,675
Housing 0 0 2,046,998 3,350,000 0 5,396,998
Open Space 20,446,829 9,845,566 31,285,933 59,194,339 87,127,173 207,899,840
Public Safety 5,232,171 13,457,859 28,555,150 102,289,176 0 149,534,356
Technology 26,580,483 9,267,124 23,306,812 47,953,999 3,036,200 110,144,617
Transportation 73,238,777 45,154,408 60,564,494 200,933,670 269,760,050 649,651,399
Totals 182,096,161 150,047,619 300,600,004 1,084,008,064 360,198,423 2,076,950,270

Spending By Department

Department Through 6/30/16 FY17 Budget FY18 Budget FY19-22 Budget Non-Capital Fund Total
Boston Centers for Youth and Families 5,474,929 10,603,232 10,483,248 29,094,266 0 55,655,675
Boston Planning and Development Agency 0 50,000 1,500,000 1,050,000 0 2,600,000
Boston Public Library 4,276,282 5,568,827 13,768,352 102,189,539 0 125,803,000
Boston Public Schools 22,771,793 50,989,196 110,104,285 415,505,293 275,000 599,645,567
Department of Innovation and Technology 26,331,883 8,539,817 19,056,812 37,953,999 0 91,882,510
Emergency Management 0 25,000 50,000 1,425,000 0 1,500,000
Environment Department 0 38,400 1,673,100 9,686,500 0 11,398,000
Fire Department 1,204,474 1,133,109 10,120,290 59,430,839 0 71,888,712
Neighborhood Development 18,132 568,650 2,334,940 462,000 0 3,383,722
Office of Arts and Culture 0 0 1,700,000 7,600,000 0 9,300,000
Office of New Urban Mechanics 0 100,000 100,000 0 0 200,000
Parks and Recreation Department 20,446,829 9,845,566 31,285,933 58,924,339 87,127,173 207,629,840
Police Department 5,225,050 12,910,536 18,684,860 44,553,554 0 81,374,000
Property Management Department 1,163,397 1,719,838 9,387,575 89,358,248 0 101,629,058
Public Health Commission 17,534 120,000 1,016,115 1,972,349 0 3,125,998
Public Works Department 86,500,166 35,533,695 47,976,783 183,878,502 256,375,045 610,264,192
Transportation Department 8,665,692 12,301,753 21,357,711 40,923,636 16,421,205 99,669,996
Totals 182,096,161 150,047,619 300,600,004 1,084,008,064 360,198,423 2,076,950,270

FY18 Expenditures Allocation

The City estimates FY18 capital expenditures will total $301 million from all sources (see Figure 2). All projects in the capital plan are categorized as Upkeep, Upgrade, New/Major Renovation, Planning or Matching Funds. OBM 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 FY18, 21% of projected spending supports Upkeep projects. These include:

  • roof and masonry repairs;
  • the 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 51% 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 26% of the FY18 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 2% of the FY18 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. Projects in this category include funds for a master plan of the Frog Pond at Boston Common and a transportation study of the Bowdoin Street/Geneva Avenue area of Dorchester.

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.

FY18-FY22 Project Highlights

  • Education
  • BuildBPS: 21st Century Schools Fund
  • Dearborn STEM Academy
  • Transportation
  • Boylston Street Sidewalks
  • Vision Zero
  • Hyde Square
  • Technology
  • Digital Engagement Upgrades
  • Father Hart Bridge Traffic Improvements
  • Open Space
  • Jamaica Pond Pathways and Perimeter
  • Martin’s Park
  • Energy and Environment
  • Climate Ready Boston
  • Renew Boston Trust
  • Health
  • BCYF Curley Community Center
  • BCYF Gallivan Community Center
  • Housing
  • Whittier Street Roadways
  • Madison Park Village
  • Arts and Culture
  • Percent for Arts
  • Central Library: Rare Books Dept.
  • Economy
  • Harrison Avenue / Washington Street
  • Dudley Street
  • Public Safety
  • New East Boston Police Station
  • New Engine 42 Fire Station
  • Government Effectiveness
  • City Hall and Plaza Master Plan
  • Youth Fund

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