A Regional Wake-Up Call For Boston

The 2004 edition of the Boston Indicators report measures the city's local and regional progress.
March 30, 2005, 1pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Boston, by all accounts, is thriving: it is rich in intellectual and institutional resources, home to a well-educated, skilled workforce, and increasingly culturally and ethnically diverse. However, there are ominous signs that a number of accelerating technological and demographic changes are gathering that will profoundly affect not only the Greater Boston region, but cities and regions throughout the world, according to a new report. These changes, and their implications for Boston and the region, are the focus of the third Boston Indicators Report, Thinking Globally/Acting Locally: A Regional Wake-Up Call.

This report covers the years 2003 and 2004, a remarkable period of city building and civic accomplishment which have left Boston healthy and dynamic across a range of measures. However, in today’s fast changing world, competitive pressures are intensifying and Boston and the region it anchors will have to come to terms with the fact that ‘our’ workers, ‘our’ jobs, and ‘our’ industry sectors are more mobile than we knew and, to a large extent, up for grabs. At the same time, Massachusetts is losing its competitive edge, cutting back as other states invest in public higher education and forward-looking economic development strategies. Even worse, in contrast to the states and regions that are facing many of the same external forces and are responding by mobilizing their civic, business and elected leadership, Greater Boston has yet to agree on a shared vision for the future, or to align its resources to advance shared goals. The report suggests that this lack of a collaborative vision and shared strategies is the greatest competitive disadvantage of all.

Thanks to Jim Barrows

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Published on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 in The Boston Foundation
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