Report: Boston On The Cutting Edge Of ‘Urban Renaissance’

The Boston skyline. (Alex Kingsbury / WBUR)

The Boston skyline. (Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

Over the past 65 years, the country has focused heavily on building suburbs — for example, the communities around Boston, inside routes 495 or 128. But now, we’ve reached the point of “peak sprawl.”

That’s the conclusion of a new report, which finds that Boston is on the cutting edge of an urban renaissance, which puts a premium on walkable, urban places.

This trend has big implications — not just for downtown, but for suburbs, too. Over the next generation, researchers say, the development of urban spaces could be an engine of economic growth on-par with the boom that came with suburbanization.


Christopher Leinberger, director of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University. He’s author of the new report, “The WalkUP Wake-up Call: Boston.” He tweets @ChrisLeinberger.

Marc Draisen, executive director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. They helped compile the report.


WBUR: Report: Greater Boston Needs More ‘Walkable Urban Places’

  • “Boston often ranks as one of the most walkable big cities in the country. And the convenience and ease of being able to walk to work or school or get to shops or restaurants by foot is something that attracts many people, particularly millennials, to the metro area.”

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