Teaching Case - Too Many Parents? Governance of Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway (A)

Too Many Parents? Governance of Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway (A)


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  • Product Description

    This case study examines —through the lens of governance structure— the evolution of the Central Artery (or "Big Dig") in Boston, a public works project of historic proportion which had the potential to create a green oasis of parks in the heart of downtown. It tells the story of the struggle over who would eventually control and finance the maintenance of the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway--—the name given to land created when an elevated highway was dismantled and the roadway rebuilt underground. Those who wanted control, but not necessarily financial responsibility, included the mayor of Boston, the governor, the legislature and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (a quasi-governmental body). Issues of park design entangled with governance questions, leading to a stalemate of nearly 15 years. But in 2004, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) pushed for a resolution so that the Greenway could be dedicated in connection with Boston'’s role as host of the July Democratic Party presidential convention. Over the years of debate, various models of governance for the Greenway were discussed and dismissed. Some of them involved private sector partners; some did not. Students will have the opportunity to compare and contrast the proposed governance models, judging them on their merits as well as on their political suitability. They will gain insight into the differences in operations and public accountability among a public agency, a foundation, a conservancy or a nonprofit trust.

    Learning Objective:
    This case can be used in courses on public-private partnership, on public management, or business-government relations. It will help students explore how political decision makers must consider simultaneously the theoretical coherence of any given solution along with its political expedience.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: June 05, 2006
    HKS Case Number: 1839.0
    Case Author: Kirsten Lundberg
    Faculty Lead: John D. Donahue
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 18
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Frank and Denie Weil Program in Collaborative Governance, Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, Robert G. Wilmers Local and State Government Case Studies Fund
    _year: 2000-2009
    _pages: 16-25
    _geography: US & Canada
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