Facing an increasingly interconnected global economy and issues like housing and climate change that bleed beyond municipal borders, six metro Boston leaders have made a commitment to work together to develop solutions to regional issues.
The mayors of Boston, Braintree, Quincy and Somerville, and the city managers of Cambridge and Chelsea signed a Greater Boston Regional Economic Compact at Quincy City Hall on Dec. 9.
The compact calls for formal meetings at least every other month between the six communities to develop a strategy for economic growth and development in the region, according to a press release announcing the effort. Those discussions will also cover issues related to economic development such as the housing crunch, transportation and sustainability.
The six communities will jointly hire a coordinator who will facilitate the effort, and each will individually explore hiring a full-time staff member to assist in developing a regional economic strategy. Other communities are welcome to join the effort, as well, the leaders said.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh told the Boston Globe that the compact is recognition that Greater Boston competes with New York, Silicon Valley and other regions, and that as he advocates and works to grow Boston’s economy, “I’m not going to make a push in the city at the sake of taking business away from another [local] city.”
In a statement, Walsh said, “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.”
Chelsea City Manager Thomas Ambrosino said that collaborative planning to foster investment is needed because “the economy of the Boston region is too complex” for each municipality to identify solely as an individual city or town.
The compact is an important first step, according to Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “If we are to succeed as individual cities as we face 21st century challenges, we must develop our strengths as a region,” he said.
Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch said in the release that he is “proud to be part of such a dynamic partnership,” while Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan emphasized growing the regional economy through transportation and housing.
“Solving issues that transcend municipal boundaries requires a fundamental shift to this type innovative collaborative approach,” said Cambridge City Manager Richard Rossi.
The compact follows the formation last year of the Life Sciences Corridor by Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Somerville and Braintree, a commitment to cooperation specifically in the realm of promoting and growing the life sciences sector along the MBTA Red Line.

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