Imagine Boston 2030
Imagine Boston 2030, the city’s first comprehensive plan in 50 years, sets the agenda for future growth, investment, and development.
A historic, land-constrained city with a highly productive workforce and a fast-growing population, Boston’s greatest challenge is one that many growing cities are facing—how can it keep housing affordable, invest in infrastructure, and expand access to opportunity as it grows?
Imagine Boston 2030 is a plan to strengthen the city’s physical assets and encourage equitable economic growth. On behalf of the administration of Mayor Martin J. Walsh, HR&A used economic, demographic, real estate, environmental, and land use analyses, coupled with input from over 14,000 community members, to guide development of an innovative framework that will enhance and preserve Boston’s historic communities while accommodating long-term population and job growth. Working in partnership with Utile Design and supported by Inkhouse Communications, Greenberg Consultants, Hood Design Studio, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Nelson Nygaard – HR&A estimated the housing and working space needed to accommodate growth and developed a strategy that leverages the City’s physical assets, human capital, and regulatory and financial tools to achieve the City’s goals of affordability, inclusive growth, preparing for climate change, and investing in quality of life improvements.
Through our analysis, we identified three areas requiring customized approaches to growth, enhancement, and preservation—existing neighborhoods, the commercial core, and edge areas. HR&A helped the City to build consensus on a set of initiatives that combined this place-based planning with new policies —ranging from carbon neutrality to anti-displacement measures —to advance the plan’s underlying goals. By combining planning and capital investment with policy, Imagine Boston 2030 will enable the City to firmly guide development of new housing and investment in areas with the ability to support sustainable growth, while ensuring that the benefits of that growth are accessible to more Bostonians.
The final Imagine Boston 2030 plan articulates how the initiatives and priority actions will be funded, led, and measured to ensure success—directly informing the City’s five-year capital plan. Concurrent plans like Climate Ready Boston, Go Boston 2030, and 100 Resilient Cities are other important avenues of progress for the plan’s goals, providing complementary strategies that build off Imagine Boston.