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Higher Gas Prices: Downtown Boston's Secret Weapon?

There's a new report out from the Center for Neighborhood Technology (they're based in Chicago, which could teach us a thing or two) that accentuates a challenge of living and working in our Hub of heavy traffic: gas prices and housing. Specifically, if you live farther out from the commercial center—and not conveniently near enough to a T stop that might be eliminated anyway—it's the added money you have to spend to work to pay for your real estate. Scott Van Voorhis sums it up:

Based on housing costs alone, three quarters of 900 metropolitan and "micropolitan" areas across the country would now be considered affordable to median income families. But the number of "affordable" neighborhoods within reach of the average family shrinks to just 28 percent when gas, car and other transportation costs are factored in. However! These higher costs may prove a further boon to downtown neighborhoods, and not Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the South End, et—those are necessarily viable Plan B's for families because they're expensive and you get less space for your buck. We're talking about the buzzed-about neighborhoods like East Boston and South Boston, where development pushes are under way to attract fresh buyers and tenants. One of the selling points, of course, is proximity to workplaces.

· Another Strike Against the Suburbs? [Boston.com]
· Chicago: What Boston Can Learn From It (Seriously) [Curbed Boston]
· The Departed: South Boston to Change Forever This Year [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston Techies Will Rescue East Boston Real Estate [Curbed Boston]