How Thomas Menino Wove Boston's Neighborhoods into a "Whole City"

Over twenty years in office, Mayor Thomas Menino had a considerable impact on Boston's built environment. For Robert Campbell, the Mayor's most substantial accomplishment was in recapturing "the places in between".

"The best thing Menino did for architecture, the change he deserves to be remembered for, isn’t a building or group of buildings," writes Campbell, the Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic. "It’s the transformation, still in progress, of Boston from a patchwork of semi-isolated neighborhoods into a single whole city. The keys to that change are what I’ll call the in-between spaces."

Campbell offers examples of transformed interstitial spaces that helped stitch the city together, including enlivening the city's Avenue of the Arts and the redevelopment of Dudley Square. Menino-era lows include the death of meaningful planning and the lack of great new public spaces or signature buildings.  

"So what’s the final score on Menino?" asks Campbell. "We’ll have to wait and see how the mayor’s late initiatives play out. We can say now, at least, that he leaves a better city than the one he found."

Full Story: For urban design, Menino era scores highs and lows


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