SCENARIO: METROFUTURE DRIVEN
In 2009, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council released MetroFuture, a wide-reaching plan to accommodate future regional growth in a manner that ensures that broader goals for economic prosperity, conservation, and quality of life will be upheld. In this scenario, the development patterns and supporting policies envisioned in this plan have been realized.
Expanded transit-oriented and more dense, mixed-use patterns of development have created more housing options that are affordable to a broader range of the population. This in turn has allowed and encouraged more people to walk, bike, and take public transit. The central core and surrounding Gateway Cities are experiencing a substantial portion of the population and job growth while the majority of new suburban growth is in or near town centers and existing commercial areas. With more housing and jobs in cities and town centers, more people walk or take transit for their travel needs.
Affordable housing is located in areas with good access to transportation and services and is distributed throughout the region. Low-income households have the opportunity to live near a greater number of jobs and are less burdened by high transportation costs. Furthermore, policy decisions ensure that displacement is limited and that current residents remain in their neighborhood if they want to, even as cities and towns in the inner core and regional urban centers revitalize.
GETTING TO 2040
If current trends continue through to 2040, the majority of population and employment growth will occur in the Central Core and Greater Boston (see Figure 4). Previously fast-growing outer suburbs would continue to grow, but more slowly. Communities throughout the region would have fostered compact growth through proactive planning, supporting land use regulations, and changes to the permitting process. As such, growth in these suburban communities would have occurred in existing residential and commercial centers rather than in undeveloped areas. More new jobs would be located closer to existing population centers rather than in isolated suburban campuses.
New zoning policies would have encouraged mixed-use, transit oriented development throughout the region. As a result, most new homes and jobs are located near existing train stops and bus routes, promoting transit use. Affordable housing mandates and inclusionary zoning practices would have been implemented in cities and towns throughout the region, increasing the proportion of affordable housing stock. Much of this affordable housing would be located near existing transit services, reducing the transportation cost burden for those below median income levels.
STRATEGIES TO NAVIGATE THIS FUTURE
- Seaport Access Improvements