Many legal, political and informal “community processes” were undertaken to shape the future of the land created by the underground rerouting of Boston’s Central Artery. In order to assess whether these processes were valuable, the Essay proposes an approach to determining what constitutes a successful community process in the context of a complicated urban development challenge. First, a typology of community processes is developed, involving both different layers of community and a spectrum of processes from the legal to the political. Next, four criteria are proposed for evaluating the efficacy of community processes: inclusiveness, integrity, influence and implementation. Finally, these evaluation criteria are applied to determine the extent to which the different types of community processes used to shape the Central Artery Project’s open spaces were successful. The Essay concludes that the lessons learned in Boston can be used to shape more effective community processes elsewhere.