6 Greater Boston Municipalities Form Economic Partnership

Six communities in the Boston area on Wednesday announced a partnership to address common economic development issues.

As part of the Greater Boston Regional Economic Compact, the six municipalities — Boston, Braintree, Cambridge, Chelsea, Quincy and Somerville -- will jointly hire a coordinator to develop a regional economic strategy, and each community "will explore committing funds" to hiring a staffer for the compact, according to a press release.

"Economic challenges and opportunities for our region do not stop at our city borders," Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said in the release. "From transportation to housing to addressing sustainability and climate change, if we are to succeed as individual cities as we face 21st century challenges, we must develop our strengths as a region."

Added Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in a statement: "In order to succeed it is important that we first recognize that some of our greatest obstacles are not contained within city lines and that regional challenges require regional solutions."

Walsh's stance is a departure from his predecessor's. In 2013, for instance, then-Mayor Thomas Menino was reportedly "infuriated" when Partners HealthCare said it would consolidate some operations in Somerville.

“What we want to make sure happens is that corporations understand they’re not just getting one city,” John Barros, Boston's economic development chief, told the Globe, which first reported the compact on Tuesday. “They’re getting the region, a strong, politically stable, well-coordinated region.”

The announcement comes as Walsh signs an executive order reforming his city's development policy in an effort to increase affordable housing.

Cambridge similarly increased its development fees for affordable housing this year.

The six regional economic compact members will meet at least every other month and "encourage other communities in Greater Boston to support and join the effort," according to the press release.


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Benjamin Swasey Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.



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