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Imagine Boston 2030 Engagement Update

  |   Guiding Growth

Since we launched Imagine Boston 2030 last fall, we’ve relied on Bostonians to set the direction for our growth. To guide Imagine Boston 2030, we turned to those who know the city best – the residents and businesses that call Boston home. Over the last few months, the City engaged Bostonians through open houses, visioning sessions, suggestion boxes, text messages, social media and web surveys to understand Bostonians’ vision for the future. We listened. While this is only the beginning of collecting feedback, the early response has been clear.

When asked how their life will be better in 2030, the top three responses were:

IB2030 Graph - HH Income and Home Value

Cost of Living, Boston vs. Nation[2]

Housing I can afford

  • While Boston’s median household income is in line with the nation’s, we have a much higher cost of living. 46% of Bostonians are housing cost burdened, paying more than 30% of their income to housing costs.[1]
  • Imagine Boston 2030 will identify areas where new housing can be created to reach the City’s 53,000 unit housing production goal, which includes nearly 27,000 units of workforce housing.[3]
  • Along with other City initiatives, including the Office of Housing Stability and the Housing Innovation Lab, identifying areas for housing production will keep Boston affordable and encourage the growth of diverse, inclusive neighborhoods.

Better transportation options

Mean travel times (in minutes), by race and by travel mode[4]

  • Boston’s aging infrastructure is straining to meet the needs of current residents and workers, a situation exacerbated by recent growth. Disparities in transportation persist, with non-white families experiencing longer commutes.
  • Imagine Boston 2030 will identify the key transportation investments needed to address current demand and support additional job and population growth.
  • As we do this, we will be informed by the work of Go Boston, the City’s mobility plan. Through both the Imagine Boston and Go Boston, we have heard from thousands of residents about their priorities for mobility. Based on this public input, we are developing strategies to fix gaps in existing transit and improve bike, pedestrian, bus and train mobility throughout the city so that Bostonians take more trips by public transit.

Quality education for all

Share of Population Age 25+ with Bachelors Degree or Above[5]

  • While many of Boston’s growing sectors offer career ladders, education rates vary significantly among demographic groups, limiting economic mobility despite the presence of growing companies and quality jobs.
  • Imagine Boston 2030 recognizes the importance of education in reducing inequality and fueling our economy. Imagine Boston 2030 will support the City’s education initiatives by guiding the infrastructure and physical investments needed to connect Bostonians to schools and careers.
  • As we do this, we will be supported by the City’s education initiatives, which include expanding access to high quality early care and learning, modernizing the student learning experience through the City’s ongoing High School Redesign initiative and identifying the infrastructure and physical investments needed to provide 21st century learning that connect all Bostonians to schools and jobs through the BPS Educational and Facilities Master Plan.

Do you have more to add to the input we’ve received so far? There are a number of ways to give us your feedback about how you’d like to see Boston change leading up to 2030. Connect with us on social media (TwitterFacebookInstagram) using #ImagineBoston. You can also sign up for Imagine Boston updates here.


[1] 2009-2013, 5-Year American Community Survey
[2] 2014 1-Year American Community Survey; Zillow Home Value Index, 2015 1-Year average.
[3] Housing A Changing City, Boston 2030
[4] Go Boston 2030, 2008-2012 American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata
[5] U.S. Census Bureau, 2009-2013 American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), BRA Research Division Analysis



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