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District Hall – Boston’s Innovation Hub


This is a good example of:

A city-sponsored innovation and tech hub for the entire community

Narrative:

District Hall, which opened on October 23, 2013, is a civic meeting space anchoring Boston’s 1000 acre waterfront redevelopment, the Innovation District.

Backstory

The Innovation District began as an idea to redevelop Boston’s waterfront District, a valuable, but disconnected & underutilized, area of town.  The economic development and land use planning for the District launched in 2010.  The Innovation District emphasizes three core principles:

  1. Urban Lab – Create opportunities for testing groundbreaking technologies
  2. Sustainable Leadership –  Break new ground for sustainable growth
  3. Shared Innovation  – Allow all Bostonians can benefit from the shared idea economy

Three main strategies guide the development of the Innovation District:

  1. Promote Collaboration – Create clusters of innovative people
  2. Provide Public Space + Programming – Support social infrastructure to foster an innovation ecosystem
  3. Develop a 24-Hour Neighborhood – Provide amenities for flexible lifestyles

District Hall

District Hall was created as part of Boston Global Investors’ 23-acre Seaport Square development project that also includes 6.3 million square feet of office, residential, and retail space. The Hall features:

  • 12,000 SF of ground floor innovation space
  • A 3000 SF, three-meals-a-day restaurant that also supports food entrepreneurs
  • Several meeting space types: rooms, “pods,” and open spaces.  The spaces are covered in white board paint to keep equipment needs to a minimum

District Hall’s website lists five main ways to get involved and use the space:

  1. Informal meeting space
  2. Formal meeting spaces
  3. Event space
  4. Sponsorship opportunities and
  5. An open invitation to keep submitting ideas on promoting tech & innovation

District Hall’s first blog post presents 10 ideas on using the space and programming:

  1. Office hours with innovation experts
  2. Social-impact programming
  3. Demonstrations and performances (not just tech demos, but artistic innovation, fashion, music and beyond)
  4. Technology testing
  5. Pop-up retail
  6. Dance breaks for entrepreneurs ( DJ space)
  7. Podcast + video recording
  8. Workshops + training sessions
  9. Exhibition Space for designers & artists
  10. Invitation for ideas

Key Quote:

“There are dozens of organizations in Boston looking to support entrepreneurs, hundreds of people interested in mentoring start-ups, and thousands of talented individuals looking to make their impact. This will be their gathering place.” – former Mayor Thomas M. Menino

URL link to Main Resource:

http://districthallboston.org

Project Location :

Boston. Massachusetts, US

Development Context:

Urban

Stage:

Built

Stage:

City of Boston, Boston Redevelopment Authority , Boston Global Investors, Hacin and Associates, Venture Café Foundation, CIC Cambridge, The Briar Group, Morgan Stanley, Boston Event Solutions, John Hancock, Foley Hoag, IdeaPaint, and Philips Color Kinetics

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