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The Powerful Boston Redevelopment Authority20:54
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This July 22, 2011, aerial photo looking south shows the skyline of downtown Boston. (Karen Testa/AP)
This July 22, 2011, aerial photo looking south shows the skyline of downtown Boston. (Karen Testa/AP)

There are few engines in the city of Boston as powerful as the Redevelopment Authority. If that name sounds like something out of the Eisenhower Era, that's because it is.

The city has a Byzantine process for planning and authorizing major development projects — one that many other cities long-ago abandoned.

The BRA is tightly controlled by the mayor. It has a finger in nearly every major development decision in the city. And isn't going anywhere, anytime soon. The person who replaces Mayor Thomas Menino will wield some powerful authority, much of it through the running of the BRA.

Guests

Rachel Slade, articles editor at Boston Magazine. Her recent article on the BRA is here.

Paul McMorrow, associate editor at CommonWealth magazine

This segment aired on May 31, 2013.

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