12 plans for Mayor Walsh’s new Boston

Illustration by Doug Chayka for The Boston Globe

When Marty Walsh takes office in January, the change will mark more than an ordinary political turnover: He will be the first new leader Boston has had in 20 years. Countless residents of today’s city have only ever known one mayor and one vision for Boston.

Walsh will be inheriting a vastly different Boston than Thomas M. Menino did: safer, more diverse, more prosperous, and more ambitious. Today, Boston is both the capital of the region and a key player in the global economy of ideas.

That leaves Walsh with big shoes to fill. But it also gives him something more important: an unusual opportunity to reimagine how things are done here, and to think big about the kind of Boston we want to live in. With that in mind, we asked a variety of forward-thinking civic figures: What would transform the city? What plans could a new mayor support to ensure Boston is great in 50 years, or 100?


Their ideas ranged from the hyperlocal—like seeding business innovation in the city’s far-flung neighborhoods—to the epochal, like a “necklace” of environmental barriers to protect the city from rising oceans. As the next administration shapes its agenda, we offer the new mayor this portfolio of bright visions for the future.

(Click here to view an interactive version.)