By STEVE LeBLANC The US Express News
BOSTON — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said Wednesday that she wants to put the city on track to reach its former peak population while watching over trends that are already straining residents because of rising housing costs.
Wu, who became Boston’s first woman and first Asian-American elected mayor in 2021, said she hopes to manage the city’s rapid growth while avoiding some of the urban renewal efforts of the last century that eventually killed thousands of workers, immigrants and immigrants expelled. and black and brown residents.
“Our vision is for Boston to sustainably reach our peak population of 800,000 with the housing and schools, parks and public transportation to support that growth,” the Democrat said in her State of the City address, referring to the city’s historic peak population. around 1950, when the population reached 801,000.
According to the 2020 census data, the city population was about 675,000.
The city has experienced tremendous growth in new construction in recent years, with homes being built at a rate not seen in generations.
Wu said not everyone in the city has benefited from the growth and that failure to plan for stability in the community meant that even as the city’s population grew, many were displaced.
Wu said she will file a self-government petition next week to formally end the decades-old urban renewal mission to eradicate the so-called “plague and urban decay” — which razed some city neighborhoods — and instead redeploy funds thereof to the current city of Boston. needs, including resilience, affordability and equity.
Wu said she also plans to file another house rules petition in the coming weeks that she says would help stabilize rents, end rent squeeze and protect families from eviction and displacement.
It is an attempt by Wu to partially fulfill a campaign promise to revive some form of rent control in the city. Rent control was banned statewide by Massachusetts voters in 1994.
She also wants to start building more affordable housing on city-owned buildings and empty lots scattered around the city.
To deal with the threat of climate change, Wu said she will sign an executive order requiring all new city construction and major renovations in schools, municipal buildings and public housing to be completely fossil-free.
By 2030, she said, Boston will end fossil fuel use in the city’s public housing.
Wu also said the city is excited for the Lego Group to build its North American headquarters in Boston this fall.