Teaching Case - Park Plaza (A)

Park Plaza (A)


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  • Product Description

    This case concerns the 1971 Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) plan to develop the Park Plaza area of downtown Boston. It centers on Miles Mahoney, commissioner of the Mass. Department of Community Affairs (DCA), an organization with broad responsibilities for housing and urban renewal projects in the state. Among its duties, the DCA was required by law to approve in writing all local renewal plans. When the DCA received the BRA's $260 million Park Plaza proposal, Mahoney and his staff felt there were sufficient shortcomings in the proposal to warrant its rejection. The decision to reject the proposal was very unpopular. Boston Mayor Kevin White was outraged and took the issue to Gov. Francis Sargent, who suggested the BRA revise and resubmit the proposal. Despite an outpouring of support for the proposal, Mahoney continued to feel that it was unacceptable.

    Learning Objective:
    Part A, which stops at a key decision point for Mahoney, can be taught independently. Part B is a brief account of the story from the perspective of the governor's chief policy adviser. Part C is a very brief sequel, offering retrospective remarks by the governor and his adviser. This case illustrates that being right on the merits and having the internal capacity to achieve goals are necessary but not sufficient; public managers also need the support of their external environment.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1975
    Teaching Plan: Available with Educator Access
    HKS Case Number: 707.0
    Case Author: Colin Diver
    Faculty Lead: Colin Diver
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 38
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
  • Warranty Information

    /review/707.0.EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/707_2.pdf