Thriving communities are about more than just housing and jobs. Residents also want and deserve a safe and welcoming neighborhood, access to good food, a healthy environment, and the opportunity to enjoy arts, culture, and recreation. Thriving communities are places where people come together to live and work, and also to build community.
Yet throughout the region many residents live in places burdened by pollution from airports, factories, solid-waste-transfer facilities, and brownfields. A disproportionate number of residents in these communities are people of color.
As the region grows, we have a particular opportunity to address these needs and create places that improve the health and well-being of residents. We can transform underutilized commercial and industrial strips in the suburbs into walkable, complete communities, and mitigate the impact of pollution and fossil-fuel-burning power plants. And with the support of municipal and state government, communities can promote healthy food, local arts, and culture—and lively public spaces that contribute to the enjoyment of everyday life.