You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe



351 towns in Mass.: Beautiful but superfluous

For two people who aren’t running for statewide office, Ross Bergen and Lila Gardner have come to know Massachusetts exceedingly well. Over about three weeks, the couple, ages 25 and 24, visited all 351 cities and towns. Yet their project didn’t just produce cool, moody Instagram photos of statues, grand public buildings, and colorful landscapes. It also hinted at what’s good — and bad — about the Commonwealth’s system of local government.

There’s plenty to behold: Many towns have attractive, well defined centers, often with village greens, major civic buildings, and businesses clustered near them; these towns already have the kind of development pattern that land-use planners elsewhere are trying desperately to recreate.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week