Since 2007, Common Boston has brought together individuals/organizations to build valuable relationships and a more vibrant urban environment. Through our signature events and programming, we help create opportunities for networking, dialogue, and investment among designers, nonprofits, businesses and the public all while contributing to Boston's creative economy.

We have hosted over 200 events for 7,000+ attendees in 24 communities around the region. In doing so, our all-volunteer organization has impacted greater Boston in multiple ways:

  • Helped designers and the public discover Boston's history, cultural assets, small businesses, neighborhood development, architecture, art, regional communities, and more.
  • Broke down silos and encouraged a greater spirit of collaboration among designers, firms, organizations and the public.
  • Inspired people to share personal experiences, community challenges, neighborhood resources, and business opportunities.
  • Enhanced the profile of Boston as a diverse, vibrant community with a rich cultural tradition.
  • Showcased trends and development impacting the built environment and communities
  • Facilitated economic growth, access and opportunity, especially in underserved areas.

Want to help us bring our important programming to communities throughout the region? Become a Sponsor, Partner or Volunteer today! 


Each year, we bring design-related programming and events to specific neighborhoods (aka "Common Points") within greater Boston. In doing so we promote our shared creative capital, foster dialogue among diverse communities, and highlight the built environment's impact on our everyday experience. Many events are free and all are open to the public at large.

Some of our signature programs include

  • Roundtables – Relaxed conversations with those who live, work, and play in our Common Points. These help us delve deeper into our featured neighborhoods and give us better insight to the opportunities, challenges, and resources within the community. Occurs once for each Common Point, and are both open to the public and always free.
  • CB Forum – A moderated panel discussion with design, business, academic, civic and community leaders. We'll ask these folks to share their POV and expertise, in addition having a Q&A with an attending audience. 
  • dParty – Just as it sounds! This is a fun and lively get-together within the Common Point neighborhood. We work with a partner space to create a one-night-only go-to venue for music, dancing, drinks and more. (Have a space that might fit the bill? Please let us know!)
  • Common Build– A 72-hour design-build competition with a number of great prizes to be won. Teams of people of all ages and backgrounds work against the clock to solve a design challenge of a specific organization or community. 
  • Tours – How else do you get to a know a place if you don't explore it? Architecture, art, green space, signage, lighting, and even food have been the focus of our many popular tours. We've gone by foot, bike, and boat too.  
  • Exhibits/Lectures/Etc – We've curated public art displays, sponsored talks on the history of Boston, created exhibits that showcase our built environment, and helped support an ever-diverse array of programming. In doing so we frequently partner with community groups, schools, small businesses, residents and others. 

Check our calendar for more info on specific dates... Have an idea for your own program, or want to contribute to one of ours? Send us a note!

Click here for our Programming and Event Archive, 2007-2013.


Common Boston is fortunate to have a growing list of people and organizations actively involved in our design- and community-oriented programming. 

2014 Steering Committee

Co-Chairs: Kevin Derrick & Valerie Fontana Shulman
Leaders: Michelle Coleman & Luis Fernando Araque (Kendall/MIT); Anne Lewis & Linda Mullen (Allston-Brighton)

Members: Cat Callaghan, Nicholas Caruso, Susan Chamberlain, Erica Curtis, Lee Dykxhoorn, Mary Hale, Eugenia Harris, Kathy Hunt, Ivan Jaramillo, Chad Kringen, Anastasia Lyons, Conor MacDonald, Jon Pate, Verica Raskovci, Ron Mallis, Jyotsna Sivaguru, Cynthia Smith, Erica Sturges, Stephanie Weyer, and many others who have helped along the way.

Sponsors Past & Present

Boston Society of Architects, Boston Foundation for Architecture, The Boston Harbor Association, Boston Harbor Cruises, Samuel Adams, Harbor Arts, Hubway, Boston Design Center, Boston Party Rental, Harpoon Brewery, Shepley Bulfinch, Mary Darmstaetter,  Friends of Fort Point Channel, Boston Building Resources, Gensler, Omnilite, Ashmont Grill, A Sweet Place, Banshee Pub, dbar, Doughboy Donuts, Drink Restaurant, Ecco, FilzFelt, Flour Bakery, Jeveli’s, KO Pies, La Abundancia, La Hacienda, Perfect Fuel Chocolate, Santarpio’s Pizza, Sportello, Sports Connection Bar & Grill, Sweet Life Bakery& Café, Stitch House, The Connection, Twelve Chairs, and many more who gave their time and/or donated resources to our organization.

Partners & Contributors Past & Present

Kendall Square Association, Mass Cultural Council, Arch Daily, NBBJ, Metropolis Magazine, Dana Busch, Bustler, Boston Architectural College, Boston Parks & Recreation, Fenway Alliance, East Boston Chamber of Commerce, WGBH, Lee Kennedy & Co, Boston Properties, The Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Fenway Victory Garden, Cambridge 7 Architects, Add Inc, Ashmont Cycles, St. Mark’s Area Main Street, VietAID, Dorchester Day Parade, Friends of East Boston Greenway, ZUMIX, Global Local Gourmet, Above the Standard Gallery, Coleen’s Flower Shop, CrossFit Southie, Dot Dogs, Grand Ten Distilling, Public Art Boston, Shanti– Taste of India, Sidewalk Sam, Thompson Design Group, Keller Williams Realty, City Feed & Supply, Tavolo, Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Work Bar, Next American City, Payette, Boomerangs, and many others.

Join Us

We work with our Volunteers, Sponsors and Partners to develop a level of involvement that complements their interests and availability, and affords them the opportunity to help make Common Boston an unforgettable experience. If you’re interested in joining us or making a recommendation with whom we should connect, please send a note.