The city of Boston lies on the coast of eastern Massachusetts and is the largest city in the six-state New England region, with a population of approximately 580,000. The Greater Boston region, with just over 4 million residents, encompasses much of eastern Massachusetts along with parts of New Hampshire and Rhode Island. By American standards, Boston is considered geographically small and dense: a land area of 49 square miles creates a density of almost 12,000 residents per square mile (compared to the national average of just under 90 residents per square mile). Boston’s unique and compact layout is due in large part to its historic nature, one that is fiercely protected and preserved, particularly in the historic architecture and human scale of its neighborhoods.
Boston is the regional hub for transportation, economic output, and culture. Boston’s competitive advantages lie in research and development emerging from the area’s institutions of higher education and health care, and in financial, governmental, business, professional and human services, a beautiful physical infrastructure, culture of innovation, a skilled workforce, and strong Inner City economy built on small business. Boston is also the economic hub of Massachusetts with great influence over the Commonwealth’s fiscal health: with just 9% of the state’s population, Boston drives the state economy with 16% of total employment, 19% of tax revenue and 24% of Gross State Product.
Leading Cities’ Team: Barry Bluestone, Northeastern University
Barry Bluestone is the Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, the founding Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, and the founding Dean of the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
At the Dukakis Center, Bluestone has led research projects on housing, local economic development, state and local public finance, and the manufacturing sector in Massachusetts. At the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, and Public Policy, he has co-chaired the Open Classroom series, a graduate seminar on critical social issues open free to the public each semester. He has also been part of the school team developing a new Masters Program in Urban and Regional Policy.
As a political economist, Bluestone has written widely in the areas of income distribution, business and industrial policy, labor-management relations, higher education finance, and urban and regional economic development.
Bluestone’s latest work published in 2008 and co-authored with Mary Huff Stevenson and Russell Williams is a major new textbook entitled The Urban Experience: Economics, Society, and Public Policy. This textbook, rich in theory and applied policy, was written for an interdisciplinary audience and can be used at either the undergraduate or graduate level.