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  • Writer's pictureOffice of Rep. Vargas

New plan charts 30-year course for equity and resilience in Greater Boston

A new blueprint lays out what Greater Boston governments can do to reach policy and resilience goals by 2050, focusing on equity, the climate crisis and public health.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council unveiled its sweeping 30-year roadmap Thursday after years of consultation with the 101 cities and towns in its Metropolitan Boston region.

The 433-page MetroCommon 2050 plan reimagines transportation, housing, the economy, local governments and the arts. It also includes recommendations for how to meet Massachusetts’ deadline of net-zero emissions by 2050. Realizing the vision requires buy-in from policymakers, who will be able to create change at the municipal and state level, as MAPC executive director Marc Draisen told the audience gathered at JFK Presidential Library for the plan’s launch.

“We don't have too much direct power to change things at MAPC,” Draisen said. “But I believe our great power is through the ability to teach and learn, to educate and convene, to bring people together.”

State representatives who spoke on a legislative panel at the event praised the plan’s breadth and its work in putting different goals — like housing and transportation — in the same document.

“Every policy has the opportunity to be intersectional in one way or another, perhaps none more than housing,” said Rep. Andy Vargas, who represents Haverhill. “We think about the opportunities that that provides for economic stability, for health, safety, transportation.”

Vargas pointed to last year’s state legislation that mandates new multifamily housing in the 175 cities and towns near MBTA stations, underlining the intersection of housing and transit.

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