September 27, 2023

Report says Boston region teetering on ‘the precipice’

Pandemic disruption heightens urgency of housing and transit fixes, it says

Michael Jonas ,

Commonwealth Magazine

The driver of all the disruption: a shift to remote work that took hold when COVID hit, but has quickly become a permanent change in how white-collar workers do their jobs. The report says the rate is now “settling” at about 30 percent of work being done remotely.

“This is not a Boston phenomenon,” said Doug Howgate, president of the Taxpayers Foundation. But how well the region fares under the new reality, he said, is very much under our control. The question now is “how Boston reacts to a global phenomenon,” said Howgate.

In many ways, the roadmap the report lays out for how the region should respond is the same one local leaders have advocated for years – but with added urgency now tacked on.

“For us to meet the moment here and make sure the area thrives in this new world, we’ve got to get our act together in a few ways,” said Howgate.