Final version of Imagine Boston 2030 released
July 11, 2017
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the release of the final version of Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in over 50 years. Imagine Boston 2030 prioritizes inclusionary growth and puts forth a comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the city. In Upham's Corner, alongside representatives from nearly every city department, residents, community partners and elected officials, Mayor Walsh celebrated this milestone in Boston's history, which has been underway since fall of 2015 and has been shaped by the input of over 15,000 residents of Boston.
The plan outlines how Boston is experiencing an economic and population boom, and with that brings an opportunity to provide additional pathways for economic mobility and avenues to improve quality of life throughout the City, while boosting affordability and resiliency.
Demonstrating to residents his commitment to making these visions a reality, Mayor Walsh announced that the Imagine Boston 2030 showcase event site on Columbia Road will be the future site of the $18 million Upham's Corner library branch. The Upham's Corner Branch opened at its current location at 500 Columbia Road in 1904.
Upham's Corner serves as an example of Imagine Boston 2030's concepts carried out to enhance the city's neighborhoods, with investments being made in the Upham's Corner library branch and Mary Hannon Park, which will receive a $896,000 investment through the $2.08 billion FY18-FY22 Imagine Boston Capital Plan. As part of the event, residents were able to participate in interactive exhibits that showcased various planning efforts underway and brought to life how this plan will continue to be implemented moving forward.
"Welcoming thoughtful growth, keeping residents in their neighborhoods, and preserving our culture and identity will make Boston a thriving city for generations to come," said Mayor Walsh. "Imagine Boston 2030 provides a roadmap for just that. With the help of all the residents who offered their feedback, Imagine Boston sets a course for the future, guides our growth and builds on our existing strengths. I look forward to seeing our vision come to life in every neighborhood in our city."
"Imagine Boston provides a framework to capitalize on the distinct identity of each neighborhood and take steps to enhance the quality of life in every corner of Boston," said Rebekah Emanuel, Executive Director of Imagine Boston 2030. "The focal points of the plan offer insight as to how we can build up our communities in ways that are forward-looking and chart a course for the city's long-term growth."
Imagine Boston 2030 identifies five action areas to guide Boston's growth, enhancement and preservation and is paired with a set of metrics that will evaluate progress and evaluate successes.
Enhance neighborhoods: Improve urban vitality and affirm each neighborhood's distinct identity by investing in the public realm, strengthening neighborhood services and connectivity, and encouraging opportunities for development.
For example, in Upham's Corner, the City will strengthen the community's historic main street fabric, emphasizing economic mobility and local innovation, fostering local arts, preserving affordability, and preventing displacement.
Encourage a mixed-use core: Encourage a dense, walkable core in our job centers where more people live, work and gather.
For example, in the Shawmut Peninsula, historic preservation, strategic growth, and public realm investments can support an active mixed-use vision, including developing a Shawmut Peninsula 2100 Plan that considers major infrastructure projects, land use, and policies.
Capital Plan investments include: $20 million for Commonwealth Avenue Phase 2A for improving walkability, bikeability, roadway realignment for transit.
Expand neighborhoods: In six transit-accessible areas at the edges of existing neighborhoods, guide new housing and commercial growth, supported by public realm and climate investments. Plans for each of the expanded neighborhoods will integrate land use regulations and capital investments and will be guided by community planning processes:
Sullivan Square: A walkable, mixed-use center for the innovation economy that builds on momentum of nearby economic activity and transit access.
Capital Investments include: Rutherford Ave Redesign ($14.8M) - Addressing climate, active transportation, congestion; North Washington St Bridge ($165M) - Connecting Charlestown more easily to the rest of the city, improving mobility; Climate Ready Charlestown study for climate protections in Sullivan Square.
Newmarket and Widett Circle: An area where critical industrial uses will be preserved and strengthened, while transit-oriented job and housing growth will enhance connections to neighboring areas.
Fort Point Channel: An active, urban waterfront where mixed-use development and a vibrant public realm transform how Downtown and the South Boston Waterfront meet and how Bostonians interact with the water.
Capital investments include: South Bay Harbor Trail ($4.2M) - Allowing active transportation and recreation and connecting parts of our city
Suffolk Downs: A lively, mixed use community, including quality transit and open space that responds to the surrounding marsh and river environment.
Readville: A center for 21st century manufacturing that creates quality jobs, and encourages transit-oriented development.
Capital Investments include: Wolcott Square traffic signal improvements ($1.4M) - proactively addressing safety and congesting, which are foundational to everything else in Readville.
Beacon Yards: A new transit hub and center for innovation, research and housing that expands the boundaries of the core west.
Create a waterfront for future generations: Create a waterfront for all Bostonians by activating open spaces, connecting neighborhoods to the waterfront, creating sustainable funding models, and investing in proactive climate planning and infrastructure.
Imagine Boston will do this by activating an urban waterfront in Fort Point Channel and South Boston waterfront, support large connected open spaces at Beacon Yards, foster signature open spaces such at Suffolk Downs, connect neighborhoods to the waterfront through the completion of the Emerald Necklace, encourage a modern, industrial innovation district at Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, and develop climate resilience plans.
Capital investments include: Northern Ave Bridge to create safe, reliable, accessible transportation; Martin's Park ($7.0M) - Creating an accessible park along the waterfront to invest in new open spaces for kids and families.
Generate networks of opportunity in the Fairmount Corridor: Expand access to opportunity and reduce disparities in the neighborhoods along the Fairmount Corridor through coordinated investments in transportation, neighborhood vibrancy and education.
The plan identifies ways to invest in enhanced neighborhood Main Streets and transit station areas, improve transportation connections, frequency and experience for riders along the Fairmount/Indigo Line, support job growth and training in transit accessible areas, invest in quality pre-K and K-12 education for the growing school-aged populations in the corridor, invest in Franklin Park and Columbia Road, and implement anti-displacement policies to ensure that existing communities benefit from investments.
Boston is prioritizing affordability and anti-displacement along the corridor. Of the units in the current development pipeline along key portions of the corridor, 65 percent are affordable.
The Imagine Boston 2030 plan is supported by the Imagine Boston Capital Plan, the City's five-year spending plan that will move Boston residents' priorities from idea to action, and invest in creating the city Bostonians imagine for the future. An estimated 77 percent of the investments in the FY18-FY22 Capital Plan are aligned with the City's planning efforts.
In addition to investing in initiatives to begin achieving priorities laid out in the plan, Imagine Boston 2030 also establishes a set of goals and core metrics that will allow the City to track progress and evaluate success. The metrics will be evaluated on a yearly basis, and will measure progress towards: job creation, reducing emissions, walkability, reducing the wealth gap and more.
"Imagine Boston 2030 lays out important strategies for addressing the challenges facing our neighborhoods, including access to quality jobs, promoting development without displacement, and addressing the severe wealth gap in our City," said Juan Leyton, Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. "DSNI will continue to work with the city to seek resources and investments necessary to implement these strategies and ensure that the residents who have fought so hard to improve their neighborhoods are able to live, work and play in Boston for many years to come."
"It's no easy feat to develop a coherent vision for a city of almost 700,000 people, but that's what this plan is. It's a compelling blueprint for how Boston can grow, while preserving the things that make our city special," said Marc Draisen, executive director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. "As a regional planner, I know that Boston's new master plan sets a high bar and a strong example for other cities and towns in the region, and as a lifelong resident of Boston, I'm eager to get to work with Mayor Walsh on implementing this strong new vision for our future."
"The Fairmount Indigo Network wishes to thank the City of Boston and the Imagine Boston 2030 staff in recognizing many important community development and capital improvements necessary to improve the quality of life for residents of the Fairmount Line corridor neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park," said Allentza Michel, on behalf of the Fairmount/Indigo Network.
The final Imagine Boston 2030 plan follows a two-year long process that engaged over 15,000 residents, who set the initial goals in Guiding Growth Toward an Inclusive City in March 2016 offered implementation ideas for Expanding Opportunity in November 2016, and helped refine these ideas through the release of the draft Imagine Boston 2030 plan in May.
The final plan is supported by guiding principles and initiatives that bring together and build on the City's planning efforts, including Boston Creates, Go Boston 2030, Climate Ready Boston, Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, BuildBPS, Economic Equity Agenda, Age Friendly Boston, Vision Zero, Boston's Resilience Strategy and more. The initiatives outline commitments around anti-displacement, immigrant advancement, climate planning and flood protection, universal pre-kindergarten, community planning and land use, and more.