For the first time in a generation, Boston will have a new mayor. Over the next two months, WBUR will explore the race to replace Mayor Thomas Menino through the eyes of the residents who live and work in Boston and explore how some neighborhoods have changed in the 20 years since Menino was first elected. Check back here as we explore a new neighborhood square each week.
The preliminary election on Sept. 24 winnowed the field of 12 candidates to two, leaving state Rep. Marty Walsh and Boston City Councilor John Connolly vying to replace Menino. WBUR’s complete coverage of the mayoral race can be found here.
Dorchester’s Codman Square used to be considered one of the most dangerous areas in Boston. Violence, drugs and prostitution were rampant. There is still work to be done, but with a pivotal health center and the efforts of several community groups, the neighborhood’s diverse residents and merchants are making Codman safer and more prosperous.
- STORY: Health Center Drives Codman Square’s Transformation
- RELATED: Dorchester Publisher: Uphams Corner Wants Mayor With ‘Vision, Guts’
Once an Irish enclave, South Boston has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, with the opening of the Boston Convention Center and the development of the waterfront. But Andrew Square — which sits at the very western edge of the neighborhood — is maybe the part of Southie that has changed the least. Residents there are seeking some of the improvements other parts of their neighborhood have enjoyed, like safer streets and more development.
- STORY: Improved, But South Boston’s Andrew Square Seeks More
- RELATED: As South Boston Growth Jumps, Resident Urges Next Mayor To Develop Carefully
As development winds around Roxbury’s Dudley Square, people who work and live in the community say they’re concerned about fairness — in city jobs, education and affordable housing.
- STORY: Dudley Square Residents Seek Fairness With Change
- RELATED: From The Front Desk Of The Yawkey Club, Focusing Squarely On Roxbury’s Potential
- MORE: Dudley Square Activist To Next Mayor: ‘Help Us Grow Businesses’
Copley Square is an oasis of open space ringed by a bustling hub of dining, retail, business and historic architecture. Still, people who live and work here are looking for a mayor who will help cut down on panhandling and increase litter clean-up. And all the construction on tap has some worried about changes to the skyline.
- STORY: Copley Poses Less-Obvious Challenges To Boston’s Next Mayor
- MORE: Storify: ‘Radio Boston’s’ Copley Square Broadcast
As change drives forward, in the form of planned waterfront development and a proposed casino, many East Boston residents worry that the neighborhood’s long tradition as a gateway to immigrants will end.
- STORY: With Development, Maverick Square Residents Fear Losing Diversity
- MORE: East Boston Activist: We Can’t Have Displacement With Development
- RELATED: At Eddie C’s In Maverick Square, A Delicate Mix Of Old And New
These days, Allston/Brighton is known for the throngs of students who live there, and for large new developments planned by businesses and surrounding universities. But there are also generations of families who are trying to hold on to their neighborhood.
- STORY: Families, College Students Reflect Many Contrasts In Allston/Brighton
- MORE: In Oak Square, Worries About Neighborhood Stability, Absentee Landlords
Downtown Crossing is the epicenter of Boston’s social, cultural and commercial history. But it’s seen a series of highs and lows since its heyday. Now, the bustling retail district is becoming more residential, and luxury housing is driving up costs in the neighborhoods that border the district — like Chinatown.
- STORY: An Old District Tries To Become A New Neighborhood
- MORE: Resident: Vagrancy, Drugs Are Impediments To Revitalization
Thomas Menino is from Hyde Park, but soon the neighborhood (and the city) will have a new mayor. Residents there are looking for the city’s next chief executive to develop Hyde Park’s business district and work on bridging cultural differences.
- STORY: With Next Mayor, Menino’s Hyde Park Hopes For A Renaissance
- MORE: Hopes For More Chain Retail, Liquor Licenses And Immigrant Outreach
Mattapan Community Health Center
Some Mattapan residents see it as the forgotten neighborhood. But despite violent crime and challenges for its large immigrant populations, it’s home to many optimists.
- STORY: Mattapan Often Sees Itself As An ‘Afterthought’ In Boston
- RELATED: At Mattapan Square Mobil, Warmth And ‘Mother Mode’ For Customers
- RELATED: Mattapan Square Cafe A Haven For Haitian Transplants