Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030

odurandina

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^^so many signs of a city with a weak middle class....

poor who aren't for or against development.

and lotsa rich nimby who could care less about addressing such issues.

There are three three-bedroom apartments in our building, all empty. One can be yours for $5,050 per month.
 
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tangent

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Rather than be off topic in numerous other threads... I wanted to say a few things about the gentrification/displacement dilemma. It is real... as in there is a real issue with people improving their neighborhoods with things as simple as picking up the trash and making it a better place to live only to price themselves out of their own rentals in 10 or 15 years.

I don't know of any great solutions... but rising tides are not lifting all boats, even the good neighbors that happen to be renters.

Maybe the city should start giving some sort of "shares" or equity to its long term residents. Cities are the most corporate type of living arrangement for people and it seems for those without title to real property there should still be an some sort of shared interest that reflects the sweat equity that people are putting in to the well being of the community.


Just a point for discussion... Because 1) We should all want our communities to become nicer places to live and 2) It really sucks when communities become so nice that the people that live there and made them nicer are displaced by people with more money.
 

jl326

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Rather than be off topic in numerous other threads... I wanted to say a few things about the gentrification/displacement dilemma. It is real... as in there is a real issue with people improving their neighborhoods with things as simple as picking up the trash and making it a better place to live only to price themselves out of their own rentals in 10 or 15 years.

I don't know of any great solutions... but rising tides are not lifting all boats, even the good neighbors that happen to be renters.

Maybe the city should start giving some sort of "shares" or equity to its long term residents. Cities are the most corporate type of living arrangement for people and it seems for those without title to real property there should still be an some sort of shared interest that reflects the sweat equity that people are putting in to the well being of the community.


Just a point for discussion... Because 1) We should all want our communities to become nicer places to live and 2) It really sucks when communities become so nice that the people that live there and made them nicer are displaced by people with more money.
While not a complete solution by any means, it's a great case for reducing/removing barriers to building taller (FAA restrictions notwithstanding) in the city. You can only physically grow horizontally (i.e., gentrification into more areas) or vertically. Going taller means higher construction costs, but there are buyers with money, we all know it.
 

tangent

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While not a complete solution by any means, it's a great case for reducing/removing barriers to building taller (FAA restrictions notwithstanding) in the city. You can only physically grow horizontally (i.e., gentrification into more areas) or vertically. Going taller means higher construction costs, but there are buyers with money, we all know it.
So that is the political issue... It is not irrational for the current residents of Boston to want to retard the city's growth. People who would incur costs to move to a place they could afford or increased costs to stay in a more expensive neighborhood are acting completely within their self interests to want the city to stop growing or stop gentrifying, at least in their immediate neighborhoods. With more renters than owners the political base of the city is financially and personally better off obstructing growth and gentrification to a large degree.

I am not 100% for unbridled growth, I think it should be planned out and sustainable in the 100 year time frame. With an expectation of 30 year returns on public and private investments. But if you want growth you have to understand that if the city is at all democratic, then pro growth changes at least have to benefit the majority or strong plurality. As a practical if not moral matter.

So I think the first hurdle for the pro growth agenda has to be an understanding and mitigation of the real life changing downsides of growth and gentrification for a lot of people.

Otherwise we are talking about a limited inventory of infill redevelopment where it is politically acceptable, where the benefits are perceived to outweigh the costs, before Boston hits its physical and political limits of growth.
 

Rover

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So that is the political issue... It is not irrational for the current residents of Boston to want to retard the city's growth.
It is completely irrational for current residents of Boston to want to slow the city's growth. Simply put, that's where the $$$ comes from to fund what makes the city great. The state and especially the feds are not going to step in with a large influx of cash anymore. Lament that all you'd like, but accept it as reality in the near term.

In addition to greater property tax revenue, which pays for schools, cops, sanitation, roads, etc etc, a lot of these new companies and even new residents throw money around through philanthropic efforts. Also can't dismiss the linkage payments to funds such as affordable housing, or how the city is getting its WWII era housing projects redeveloped for free in exchange for allowing more market rate apartments to be built alongside the subsidized ones.

What your post describes is classic NIMBY'ism. I got mine, now screw everybody else. The folly of the "halt development" argument is that people will STILL come to the city because its one of only a handful of regions in this country with good high paying jobs as opposed to relying on a gig or Wal-Mart economy.
 

TheRifleman

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It is completely irrational for current residents of Boston to want to slow the city's growth. Simply put, that's where the $$$ comes from to fund what makes the city great. The state and especially the feds are not going to step in with a large influx of cash anymore. Lament that all you'd like, but accept it as reality in the near term.

In addition to greater property tax revenue, which pays for schools, cops, sanitation, roads, etc etc, a lot of these new companies and even new residents throw money around through philanthropic efforts. Also can't dismiss the linkage payments to funds such as affordable housing, or how the city is getting its WWII era housing projects redeveloped for free in exchange for allowing more market rate apartments to be built alongside the subsidized ones.

What your post describes is classic NIMBY'ism. I got mine, now screw everybody else. The folly of the "halt development" argument is that people will STILL come to the city because its one of only a handful of regions in this country with good high paying jobs as opposed to relying on a gig or Wal-Mart economy.
The current Bostonian residents should not be funding billion dollar corporations millions in tax incentives to help developers lower their costs to help find tenants for PRIME TIME REAL ESTATE in the Seaport. Most residents would be fine with growth but don't drive up overall costs to the everyday taxpayers and creating bottleneck traffic on the backs of the everyday working class guy that actually Built Boston character.

I'm not republican but seriously the Democrats have now clue about economics.
 

Rover

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The current Bostonian residents should not be funding billion dollar corporations millions in tax incentives to help developers lower their costs to help find tenants for PRIME TIME REAL ESTATE in the Seaport. Most residents would be fine with growth but don't drive up overall costs to the everyday taxpayers and creating bottleneck traffic on the backs of the everyday working class guy that actually Built Boston character.

I'm not republican but seriously the Democrats have now clue about economics.
Most residents are fine with growth. Its a small but vocal minority of people who want to freeze the city in like 1980 or something but then cloak it in traffic complaints and other such nonsense. We're already in 20 hour a day gridlock. Are you really going to notice if morning rush hour starts at 4 AM instead of 5?

What and where would should subsidize, if at all, is a different discussion. Anti-growth loons need to be crushed, in my polite and humble opinion. ;)
 

Jouhou

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Most residents are fine with growth. Its a small but vocal minority of people who want to freeze the city in like 1980 or something but then cloak it in traffic complaints and other such nonsense. We're already in 20 hour a day gridlock. Are you really going to notice if morning rush hour starts at 4 AM instead of 5?

What and where would should subsidize, if at all, is a different discussion. Anti-growth loons need to be crushed, in my polite and humble opinion. ;)
What needs to happen is more housing near jobs so people can just walk to work. Traffic in and around Boston is hideous because a ridiculous amount of people have to drive in from suburbs to get to their jobs.

The whole region seriously needs to just loosen outdated zoning regulations that limit density and prevent mixed use development.
 

TallIsGood

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New population estimates are out and they have Boston at 685,000 as of July 2017. So is the city still sticking with 700,000 by 2030? We are likely to hit that by 2020.
 

tysmith95

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New population estimates are out and they have Boston at 685,000 as of July 2017. So is the city still sticking with 700,000 by 2030? We are likely to hit that by 2020.
The city has been adding a few thousand new units a year, so I'd say ny 2020 would be a better estimate.

I always wonder how college students are counted in the census.
 

JumboBuc

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Boston's increasing population is all the more impressive given the consistently dropping birth rate and fertility rate at its lowest level ever.

Boston's total population may have peaked in the 1940s-50s, but its adult population is almost certainly at an all-time high. Same goes for the city's weekday population, as there are increasingly a greater number of commuters coming in from the suburbs during the day.
 

HenryAlan

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The 685,000 is for July 1, 2017 and 12,000 more people than listed for July 1, 2016. We will easily surpass 700,000 by 2020, as it only requires an annual growth of 6,000 per year. We could, in fact, already be close to hitting that number -- just using the 1,000 people a month rate, we would now be at 696,000.
 

Rover

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Agree with all of this. City is most likely around 700,000. Boston 2030 needs to image a city at a record population level with 100,000 new units built instead of 53,000.

Having said that, the concern will be what happens if/when Boston goes beyond that. Anecdotally I can see the city functioning similarly with 800 thousand residents. If its STILL gaining 10K a year after that...yikes!
 

HenryAlan

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Right. If planning is predicated on 700,000, we'll be significantly pushing infrastructure even if we do everything contained in the various 2030 plans. If we are at 800K to 850K, we will need to already be well on our way with regional rail implementation.
 

fattony

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From Wikipedia:

2010 - 617,594
2017 - 687,584

+69,990 in 7 years or about 10,000 per year. Extrapolating the same number of people per year:

2020 - 717,000
2030 - 817,000

Taking it as a compounding percentage instead (no particular to do this, its as arbitrary as anything), it has been a 1.55% growth rate giving:

2020 - 720,000
2030 - 839,000

Dang.
 

dshoost88

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Right. If planning is predicated on 700,000, we'll be significantly pushing infrastructure even if we do everything contained in the various 2030 plans. If we are at 800K to 850K, we will need to already be well on our way with regional rail implementation.
From Wikipedia:

2010 - 617,594
2017 - 687,584

+69,990 in 7 years or about 10,000 per year. Extrapolating the same number of people per year:

2020 - 717,000
2030 - 817,000

Taking it as a compounding percentage instead (no particular to do this, its as arbitrary as anything), it has been a 1.55% growth rate giving:

2020 - 720,000
2030 - 839,000

Dang.
I wrote about this in a letter to the Globe almost a year ago. I stand by my math.
 

jklo

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Right. If planning is predicated on 700,000, we'll be significantly pushing infrastructure even if we do everything contained in the various 2030 plans. If we are at 800K to 850K, we will need to already be well on our way with regional rail implementation.
At the same time the population in the burbs should be decreasing, give it another 5-10 more years to be more obvious. So while the population of Boston is going to continue to grow the actual population of the GBA shouldn't grow too much.

It'd be nice if there was more housing density around mass transit stops but I think the reality is that people are going to deal with living with more and more roommates.
 

fattony

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At the same time the population in the burbs should be decreasing, give it another 5-10 more years to be more obvious. So while the population of Boston is going to continue to grow the actual population of the GBA shouldn't grow too much.

It'd be nice if there was more housing density around mass transit stops but I think the reality is that people are going to deal with living with more and more roommates.
Just curious, do you have any supporting data? There isn't much red in this table or this one.
 

jklo

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Just curious, do you have any supporting data? There isn't much red in this table or this one.
No numbers, but you will need to be a bit patient for GenX to move out of the burbs. By burbs I mean outside of 128. Don't know how millennial/(what's after millennials?) would be able to live there without a car.
 

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