If I could design the perfect job, it would be as a pro-development activist in the city of Boston. I would work for the average resident / citizen who wants more development – more condominium homes, more office space. Too often, this group of people doesn’t get enough attention.
Do they even exist, you have to wonder – do they care less than those who argue against everything? Certainly, if you go to any community meeting, all you see are people saying “No” to this and “No” to that. Those who favor development are out-numbered, ten-to-one, easily.
Or, perhaps, average people are just happy with the status quo. What do they care whether or not a high-rise office building is constructed on Boylston Street, a high-rise residential tower is constructed on Exeter Street, or whether or not Berklee decides to build a dormitory over the Massachusetts Turnpike or Suffolk decides to build a dormitory on the top of Beacon Hill.
If it gets built, fine. If not, whatever.
But, I do think there are plenty of people who care, and who want this type of development. They understand and appreciate that what makes Boston different from any other major city is the aesthetically pleasing Back Bay / Beacon Hill / South End / Midtown neighborhoods – low density, historic-looking, comfortable, and relaxed. The pro-development people also understand that, without new construction and development, we cannot expect to go forward at all, that we will stagnate and die.
These people see all the opposition and say, well, that’s all and good, but you know what? I do want a high-rise office tower on Boylston Street, a residential tower on Exeter Street, a Berklee dormitory over the Massachusetts Turnpike and a Suffolk dormitory on the top of Beacon Hill.
“Where’s my advocate?” they ask.
I wish I could help them.
In a perfect world, someone could make a living off of supporting and defending responsible growth. A person could head up an organization that focuses on getting things done, not stopping things from happening.
Would this organization be funded by developers? Could it, without being accused of being “bought”? Perhaps, maybe if it was run by dedicated citizens / residents of the city, if it was made up of like-minded people from different “walks of life” – renters, owners, smart people, not-so-smart people, young college kids and old senile retirees, etc.
How could we get this to work?