Bostonians share their innovative ideas to improve quality of life in Boston neighborhoods

  |   coUrbanize, Get Involved, Guiding Growth

In early March, we unveiled our Guiding Growth report, which outlined Imagine Boston’s four goals:

  • Goal 1: Provide quality of life in accessible neighborhoods
  • Goal 2: Drive inclusive economic growth
  • Goal 3: Invest in infrastructure, open space and culture
  • Goal 4: Promote a healthy environment and adapt to climate change

Since then, we have hosted community workshops and worked with coUrbanize to collect great ideas from residents to help inform Boston’s first citywide plan in 50 years.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the more popular comments on coUrbanize that support our first goal: how to enhance our neighborhoods. These include ideas for specific areas and strategies to improve neighborhoods across the city:

  • “The Financial District should have more pop-up activities. Farmer’s markets, spotlights on historical buildings, any event that highlights what Boston has to offer throughout the downtown area.”
  • “Fields Corner needs some outdoor space for socializing. Parklets or small gardens would be great along Dot Ave.”
  • “An affordable grocery store in the North End area would be great.”
  • “Access to quality early childcare is key for converting young professionals into lifelong city residents.”
  • “Use public art, streetscaping, and greenery to make streets more walkable and inviting.”
  • “The underpasses between Southie and the South End near East Berkeley could be brightened up with some murals or public art.”


Since residents began sharing their ideas with us, housing emerged as a key theme, and remained a major focus in coUrbanize comments, with approximately one in eight of all comments mentioning Boston’s housing inventory. Many community members noted areas that would benefit from low and middle-income housing, some wanted to see unused land developed into new housing, and others wanted to see vacant lots used for pilot programs like efficiency units. For many, creating affordable housing near public transit was key.


About one in ten of the comments on coUrbanize were about public space, with a common theme of creative use of space, for parks, parklets, paths, and plazas that would connect neighborhoods and encourage recreation closer to home. As Imagine Boston seeks to guide inclusive investments that benefit all Bostonians, feedback and ideas like these are crucial to ensuring that Boston maintains a thriving physical fabric and strong communities, ensuring that a diverse array of residents can continue to call our city home.

Haven’t shared your ideas for how Boston can guide its growth to support Imagine Boston’s four goals? Please weigh in now on where Boston should grow. Connect with us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) using #ImagineBoston. You can also sign up for Imagine Boston updates here.

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