October 23, 2023

A Prescription for Urban Economies on the Precipice

Boston and Mass. Must Face Up to ‘Existential’ Threats

Doug Howgate ,

Banker & Tradesman

While there is no going back to the pre-pandemic patterns of living and working from 2019, Urban Economies on the Precipice: A Tale of Six Cities examines six major cities with similar profiles, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., detailing the disruptions and making recommendations to inform Massachusetts about which policies may work and on what schedule.

These six cities drive approximately $4 trillion or 18 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Yet, office worker-driven economies in major cities are taking permanent hits as hybrid and remote work reduce foot traffic, transit ridership and overall economic activity. As vacancy rates remain high and office leases expire, more empty buildings will mean more stress on businesses, municipal finances, and other areas that intersect with and rely upon urban centers.