with Sara Myerson
In an effort to engage residents in citywide planning for Imagine Boston 2030, Textizen mobile platform has been launched. We sat down with Sara Myerson, Executive Director of Imagine Boston 2030 to get the scoop!
Q: Tell us about Imagine Boston 2030
A: Imagine Boston 2030 is the first citywide planning effort in 50 years and the Mayor wants residents from every corner of the city to be engaged in a way that they never have been before. Through the effort, we are looking to define a shared vision for the future of Boston leading up to its 400th birthday. It’s a chance for Bostonians to express their dreams and concerns about all the big issues in the city, from housing to transit to the environment. The idea is for these conversations to improve the quality of life for those living, working and playing in Boston. They will shape a plan that will guide our approach to preserving, enhancing, and growing the city’s neighborhoods in a way that promotes shared prosperity, sound public investment, and a healthy environment and population. While planning can seem academic and abstract, the results of Imagine Boston 2030 will be implemented within the next few years.
Q: The textizen mobile platform is such an innovative way to engage the residents of Boston, will there be numerous surveys sent out for people to respond? Tell us how it works?
A: Textizen is one of the many tools we will be using to engage Bostonians during the Imagine Boston 2030 process. With this tool, Bostonians can simply text the letter of their top choice in response to the below questionnaire to 617-860-3745 in order to start engaging with Textizen. It is an interactive survey that will include a few follow up questions beyond the initial question, including an opportunity for Bostonians to submit their open-ended big ideas for the city.
My life in 2030 will be better with (pick your top choice):
a) Housing I can afford
b) Safer neighborhoods
c) Better transportation options
d) Quality education for all
e) A more environmentally-friendly city
f) Great parks and public spaces
g) A more innovative and creative city
h) Expanded job opportunities
i) More vibrant neighborhoods
And for those who do not want to text, there are a number of additional ways to get involved, including:
Take our survey and sign up for email notifications on the website (www.imagine.boston.gov).
Follow us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, instagram) and post comments and suggestions using #ImagineBoston.
Look for suggestion boxes around the city where you can submit your ideas using pen and paper. Suggestion boxes will be at libraries, City Hall, on the City Hall To Go truck, and more.
Q: Will there be a giant party for Boston’s 400th birthday?
A: The 400th birthday will be a historic milestone for our city. Nothing has been planned yet, but I certainly hope so!
Q: What are you most excited about for Imagine Boston 2030?
A: I am excited that we will be able to get input from a broader range of Bostonians, especially those that would not typically attend a community meeting. This is Boston’s first citywide plan in 50 years, and it is an exciting opportunity to create a shared vision for the future focused on the issues that Bostonians care about most. We will be discovering what these issues are throughout the community engagement process, and we will be collecting feedback from the public in ways that we have never been able to do before with technology like Textizen and social media. I am excited about the potential to create an active ongoing citywide discussion about shaping the future of our city and creating a roadmap to guide positive physical change so that we can preserve wisely, enhance equitably and grow intelligently.