Thanks to the federal COVID recovery plan, $9.5 billion is coming to Massachusetts over the next five years for various infrastructure projects. It’ll be used to repair hundreds of roads and bridges and pay for Green Line trains and electric buses.
What it won’t do, however, is utterly transform Greater Boston the way past infrastructure programs have. From the creation of big swaths of land in the Back Bay to the nation’s first subway and the Cape Cod Canal and the Big Dig, this region has always had projects in the works that have aimed to solve huge problems and create new opportunities. In comparison, this new round of infrastructure money will do little to address long-term challenges in housing, climate resilience, and transportation. We are limited, to some extent, by not having asked enough important questions 15 and 20 years ago.
Here at Globe Ideas, we don’t think a failure of imagination should hamstring us again. So beginning this summer, we intend to curate conversations about the visionary plans our region should be making for 15 and 20 years from now. And to kickstart the process, we want to hear from you. What inclusive, transformational, and innovative public projects does Greater Boston need to build and why? Let us know in 250 words or less at firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Better Boston” in the subject line. Tell us your name and where you live. Responses may be edited for use in a package we will be publishing in June.