Boston is a city very close to my heart. It was my home for several years during and after my time at Boston University, and of course home to the Red Sox. But for all the things about Boston I love, I have always been dissapointed that the city hasn’t become a league leader in radical urban thinking and bold new strategies.
The ingredients are all there – the city has proven its ability to deliver on big ideas, having pulled off The Big Dig, one of the boldest urban development projects in recent history. The intellect is certainly there, with the faculty and students of Harvard, MIT, BU, and dozens of other universities based in the area. It always seemed that the city needed more catalysts to bring it all together and go after new a urban future for the city. Well, one has arrived.
SHIFTBoston has just announced a competition for bold new ideas for Boston’s urban future. As they describe on their website:
The aim of this competition is to ignite the spirit of innovation that has long lived and thrived in Boston. SHIFT seeks to collect new visions for Boston’s urban environment, rediscover Boston’s role in innovation and reaffirm the city’s position in progressive design and development … The competition is open to architects, artists, landscape architects, urban designers, engineers, students and anyone else who would like to tackle the question: WHAT IF? What if this could happen in Boston? Express your idea of what a metropolis such as Boston needs.
I am delighted to have been asked to be a judge for the competition, giving me a front row seat to what the future could hold for Boston. The deadline for submissions is 11 December 2009. I encourage anyone who wants to go after some bold new ideas for Boston’s future to visit the SHIFTBoston website for more information and to download the call for entry and submission form.