I want to hear more about this: a loose plan that calls for more redevelopment around town centers. I'm a hard-core proponent of revamping what we already have, instead of just building further and further away from the metropolitan area. Let's encourage more low and medium income housing, a reduction of energy costs, environmental friendliness and more public transit. Let's also encourage the vibrant culture these areas are filled with that McMansions with hour-long commutes to get anywhere will never offer.
Of the many places I eventually may consider moving to, I seriously dig the idea of those nifty lofts that were once old factories in brink cities like Lynn and New Bedford. We need to encourage the development of the old urban centers of smaller cities and even towns; it's a life that would well suit me. One of the keys to fostering a better environment for these cities is to get new people willing to move into them - quality, affordable housing, surrounded by lots of culture (restaurants, galleries, theatres, etc. ) is one way to do that. With more people, of mixed income, moving into these areas - suddenly communities will see all-around improvements. Everything's linked to housing, from the schools our kids are enrolled at to the commutes we choose to live. All of those things can be improved if there's some serious planning at the state and local levels, focused on revitalizing town and urban centers. Hopefully reports such as the one I linked will lead to more revitalization of towns and cities in ways that just make sense across Massachusetts.