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A BETTER WATERFRONT

The Coalition's Key Principles

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We Stand For A Resilient Waterfront

The waterfront is already bearing the brunt of many of the most dramatic impacts of our changing climate, and plays an outsized role in shaping the public health, safety, and economic wellbeing of surrounding neighborhoods. Future development and infrastructure decisions must prioritize resilience — both to address the impact of climate change and strengthen all of Boston’s neighborhoods that live, work, and play on our waterfronts.

Vexing decisions will confront Boston’s future leaders on where to prioritize public funds to address flood pathways and adapt to rising sea levels in the coming years. Multiple neighborhoods and combinations of city and private property will be impacted. The steps taken by Boston’s leaders over the next decade to create resilient, open space on the waterfront will be critical to determining the future livability of the city and to ensure economic, social, and public health resiliency.

We Stand For An Inclusive Waterfront

The waterfront belongs to all of us and Boston has much work to do to center equity in policy making, planning, and development. 
 
Boston’s future leaders must make inclusivity a central tenet of their planning and development strategy going forward so that Bostonians of every race, economic status and ability can enjoy their equal rights to the waterfront’s beauty and natural environment. Those rights need to be preserved and at the forefront of decision making. 

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Image by Laurasaman

We Stand For An Accessible Waterfront

Boston’s waterfront is an invaluable public resource that has the potential to provide significant health, climate, and economic benefits to every resident and neighborhood within the city. It is essential that Boston’s future leaders do everything they can to ensure that we confront and remove physical, financial and policy barriers standing in the way of creating a more accessible and equitable waterfront. 

We can do this by bringing diverse communities to the table at the beginning of the planning and decision-making processes. Policy that centers access and inclusion is in the interest of shaping a future waterfront where all communities feel welcome and can access the public benefits.

We Stand For Unlocking Economic Opportunity On The Waterfront

Boston’s waterfront and port are an economic engine with enormous potential for the city. Supporting the working waterfront can create widespread economic prosperity for workers and communities on the waterfront and throughout the city. The waterfront is already home to hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that are destinations for visitors from all over the world. 

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Further, the city is home to dozens of thriving and longstanding maritime, working port, and seafood industry businesses which create jobs and economic investment across the region.  Boston’s future leaders have the opportunity to further harness the ingenuity of Boston’s business community, particularly start-up and innovation economy businesses, and the city’s nation-leading academic institutions to find solutions that have the potential for significant impact on jobs and education, ocean sustainability, and global resilience. 

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We Stand For A Bold Vision For The Waterfront's Future

Decades ago, Boston went big and bold, investing billions of dollars in the historic clean up of the pollution that plagued Boston Harbor, the Charles River, and other rivers and water bodies in the city, and opened the North End and downtown waterfront to the rest of the city with the central artery project. It’s time once again to go big. The people of Boston deserve a world-class waterfront. The coming months and years provide the opportunity for transformative change. 

It will require a bold and holistic approach to development that maximizes the impact of the waterfront as a public good. We must embrace this moment to harness one of our state’s most valuable resources and create more inclusive opportunities for exploration and recreation for residents across the city, support its role as an economic driver, and create more sustainable spaces that can improve the quality of life for generations of future Bostonians.
 
We have proven that we can come together to do big things on the waterfront. Boston’s future leaders can bring together public and private sector partners, as well as advocates and community leaders to do it again and drive real change. 

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