Six Boston area Mayors and City Managers on Wednesday jointly announced the formation of the Greater Boston Regional Economic Compact, which will facilitate regional problem solving among the municipalities of Boston, Braintree, Cambridge, Chelsea, Quincy and Somerville.
“We are thrilled to announce this new partnership between our cities to address the regional economic challenges and opportunities facing the Greater Boston region,” announced the Mayors of Boston, Braintree, Quincy and Somerville and the City Managers of Cambridge and Chelsea in a joint 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,” said Mayor Walsh of Boston. “I look forward to working together with our surrounding partners to overcome obstacles and grow together across sectors and across borders.”
The municipal executives and their staffs will meet to strategize and solve common issues in the areas of housing, transportation, sustainability, and economic development that would benefit from a regional response.
As part of the compact, each participating city will explore committing funds to hire a full-time staff member to work with all participants and help develop a strategy for economic growth. In addition, a Regional Compact coordinator will be hired to develop a regional economic development strategy.
“The economy of the Boston region is too complex for each of us to identify ourselves by the community in which we live,” said City Manager Thomas Ambrosino of Chelsea. “While we might think of ourselves as being from Chelsea, or Boston, or Quincy, in reality we are all from the Boston region and we need to plan and foster investment in the region as a single unit.”
The Compact commits each participating City to five principles:
- Commitment: Each community will demonstrate their commitment to developing a regional economic strategy by meeting at least every other month and establishing a formal structure for the group;
- Leadership: These meetings will serve as a forum for participants to discuss regional economic development and related critical regional issues including, but not limited to housing, transportation, economic development and sustainability;
- Follow Through: Participants recognize that success in leveraging regional economic opportunities and solving regional economic challenges requires persistent follow through. They will therefore regularly review progress made and challenges encountered;
- Support: Participants agree to explore the appointment of a staff member to serve as a project manager for the compact, recognizing the need to coordinate and manage the several topic areas;
- Inclusion: Participants will welcome and encourage other communities in Greater Boston to support and join the effort.
Aside from geographical proximity, the six participating cities and towns have chosen to join the compact because of their common identities and set of challenges. Last May, the mayors of Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Somerville and Braintree announced the formation of the Life Sciences Corridor. The corridor was created to promote the robust life sciences sector along the MBTA red line in the Greater Boston region.