Boston Mayor Marty Walsh payed a visit to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Wednesday to deliver a progress report following his first year in office and a look ahead at what's to come.
"I'm thrilled to announce that with 3,859 units under construction, we have broken the record for annual housing starts in Boston," Walsh said.
Walsh said Boston is one of the safest big cities in the country and that it is on track to offer full time education to all of the cities 4 year olds by 2018.
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Two transit corridors in the city's South Boston and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods are also being built. The neighborhoods are identified as growth zones for transit-oriented workforce housing, with more zones coming.
Mayor Walsh also said development is booming in Boston with $4 billion of construction breaking ground this year. But the Mayor also had some advice for developers who he feels haven't always been so bold or imaginative in their architecture as he thinks they should be.
"So I challenge every developer working in our city to take design to a new level. Reach beyond your comfort zone. Boston's design community is a driving force in our creative economy. Invite these innovators to dream up new images and new icons," he said.
When asked if he thought Boston architecture was boring, Walsh said it could be more exciting adding,
"I think when you're on the harbor and you're coming into Boston Harbor, I think the first thing you see shouldn't be a building that's a square building, it should be something that's special," he added.
Working to help make Walsh's development goals a reality is Brian Golden, who Walsh announced as the new Boston Redevelopment Authority director.
Golden, who had been the interim director since January, described the agency as having helped to create one of the great cities in the world.
"It's not lost on anyone that there's been a lot of internal, systemic operational flaws that have evolved over time," Golden said.
Golden says the BRA under Walsh is now a more efficient, more transparent agency.