Today’s Boston Globe Business section includes an interesting piece on the building boom going on today in Boston. According to the data, most of the suburbs are missing out on it. This isn’t because the places are undesirable for housing, but because the cities themselves have put in so much zoning that it’s made land unaffordable and development scarce.
Downtown, most of the housing going up is strictly for the luxury set. Also worth noting, most of it is close to transit.
The story includes this quote from Clark Ziegler, executive director of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.
“Land costs are a function of zoning,” he said. “If you could build, say, apartments on the Green Line in Newton Center, that would relieve pressure in places like Boston and Cambridge and Somerville.”
The article also references the Austin Street fight as an example of suburbs “pushing back” against development.
How are we missing out? Well, for one, we’re missing out on the businesses that want to recruit the people who would live in this housing. I’m someone who lost employees during a move out to Newton. We’re also missing out by having a far more economically diverse community and the benefits that brings to a community. We’re missing out on the vibrance and retail street life that density brings to a community. We’re missing out on keeping our aging population local and our younger population setting down roots.