About Manisha Bewtra

Manisha Gadia Bewtra, AICP has worked at MAPC since 2008 and has over a decade of experience in local and regional planning. Currently, she oversees the Analytical Services Group, which conducts data and GIS (geographic information systems) analysis, produces visualizations and maps, fulfills data requests from the public, and coordinates with staff in other MAPC departments to produce compelling, data-rich deliverables that reflect MAPC’s breadth and depth of expertise in regional planning.

Since joining the Data Services Department in January 2016, she has collaborated with all MAPC departments on a variety of projects, including numerous housing production plans, municipal master plans, downtown visioning projects, land use analyses for transit-oriented development, climate change vulnerability analyses, greenhouse gas inventories, and green infrastructure planning. She is also working with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) to develop guidance for calculating minimum land area under Chapter 40B.

She joined MAPC in October 2008, six weeks prior to the adoption of the MetroFuture Implementation Strategies. Initially, she worked in what is today called the Strategic Initiatives Department, and joined the Land Use Department in August 2009. Over her tenure in the Land Use Department, she managed many place-based planning projects and coordinated two of MAPC's subregional councils, the Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (MAGIC), and the Inner Core Committee. Her place-based projects include numerous municipal master plans, leading Melrose Forward: A Community Vision and Master Plan, Boxborough2030 and collaborating with colleagues on Swampscott 2025: The Master Plan and the 2010 Malden Master Plan. She conducted a well-regarded and innovative visioning project in Downtown Lynn, which resulted in a web-based plan for action available at dtl.mapc.org. She has also worked on multi-community projects such as the Battle Road Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan for Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord. While in the Land Use Department, she worked on many local and state-level policy changes as well. She worked with the City of Lynn to establish a Housing Development Incentive Program zone, advised the City of Lynn on zoning changes in Downtown and other parts of the City, drafted transit-oriented zoning changes in the City of Melrose, and testified on proposed boundary changes to the Battle Road Scenic Byway at the Massachusetts State House.

Past Experience

In 2014, Ms. Bewtra served as an instructor for the Master of Urban Planning Core Planning Studio at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). She continues to serve as a visiting design critic at the GSD on occasion.

Prior to moving to Massachusetts, Ms. Bewtra lived briefly in Phoenix, Arizona and served as a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University as well as in the Current Planning Division of the City of Chandler Planning and Development Department. Before Arizona, she served as a Housing Development Project Manager at People’s Homesteading Group, Inc., a community development corporation in Baltimore, Maryland. During graduate school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she interned at the at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, and following graduation, she served as an intern for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C.

Education and Professional Affiliations

Ms. Bewtra holds a Master of City Planning degree from University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Art from The University of Iowa. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Planning Association. She holds a certificate in Essential Facilitation from the Interaction Institute for Social Change and is a graduate of two Massachusetts-based political leadership training programs, the Massachusetts Commonwealth Seminar and the Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership.

Ms. Bewtra serves on the Steering Committee of The Alliance – Advancing Community Development by Confronting Racism as a representative of MAPC. A resident of Melrose, Ms. Bewtra was appointed to the Melrose Human Rights Commission in 2015 and currently serves as the Commission’s Secretary.

Areas of Expertise

Ms. Bewtra specializes in project management, data analysis, mapping, visual communications, community visioning, civic engagement, meeting facilitation, zoning, and neighborhood and downtown revitalization.

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