What will Boston look like in 2030?

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Imagine Boston 2030 in May.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced a new citywide planning process Wednesday. –The Boston Globe

Mayor Marty Walsh wants Bostonians to look 15 years into the future.

It’s been a long time—50 years, in fact—since Boston released a master plan for the city. That looks set to change, as Walsh announced Wednesday afternoon at Faneuil Hall that a new citywide planning process will get underway.

The process, dubbed “Imagine Boston 2030,’’ will run two years. The city says it wants to solicit community input, starting now on a new website.

A plan is expected to be adopted in the summer of 2017. The goal—as the process’s name suggests—is to envision the city in 2030, which will be Boston’s 400th birthday.


Any long-term plan for Boston will have its share of variables to consider and incorporate. For instance, Walsh has already put forward his own plan to add 53,000 residential units to the city’s inventory by 2030 to accommodate a growing population and help to ease rising housing costs. The city also hopes to achieve new transportation goals by 2030. The new planning process is meant “to knit those efforts together,’’ along with other city plans in arenas like education, climate, arts, and more, according to a city press release.

And, of course, the 2024 Olympic bid is a big elephant in the room. If Boston is selected—host city selection is scheduled for summer of 2017, around the same time the new plan is supposed to be released—the Olympics would have a big role in the city in the runup to 2024. If the bid survives a 2016 referendum and makes it that far, we’ll see how the two processes intermingle.

The last citywide plan, from Mayor John Collins in 1965, was meant to “provide an equally general, ambitious, but realizable statement of policies and objectives for Boston’s renewal,’’ it read.

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