Back in Boston's grittier days, several neighborhoods were designated as blighted so as to ease the use of supposedly rejuvenating things such as tax breaks for development and eminent domain. Now, six decades later, the city is considering extending these designations of blight for another 10 years for 14 areas, many of which would not appear all that blighted to anyone paying attention.
Per the Globe's Tim Logan, these neighborhoods include the South End, Charlestown and the North End as well as parts of downtown Boston that, like the others, have been gentrified to within an inch of their souls' lives. Meanwhile, areas such as East Boston that might benefit from the designation today were not dubbed such in the 1960s.
As it stands now, the city's push for the extension is meeting skepticism in the City Council, which just took up the proposal, and outright opposition from residents in some of the neighborhoods where the designations might be extended. "There are a lot of places in this city, like Widett Circle and East Boston, that need these tools," the president of the North End Waterfront Residents Association told Logan. "In already-developed neighborhoods like ours there might be places that need a little help, but you don't need to declare the entire area an urban renewal zone." Stay tuned. This is going to be interesting.
· Question of Blight Is Debated in Boston Neighborhoods [Globe]