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Best idea in the Boston area in 2017? Vote!

Polls open 48 hours

Living in one of the smaht-est areas of the world has its advantages—not least a perennially bottomless bounty of ideas on how to better grow and run the region.

So, to help us pick another superlative for 2017, we turn things over to Curbed Boston’s readers and ask: What was the best idea of 2017?

To get things started, we whittled the possibilities to five key lightbulbs. Take a look and then vote.

An aerial gondola

An aerial gondola in Portland, Oregon
Eric Fredericks/Flickr

↑ Millennium Partners, the firm behind Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing and the would-be Winthrop Square Garage tower, are in talks with city and state officials to build an aerial gondola system.

It would glide commuters from an elevated platform next to South Station to Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park in the Seaport District about a mile away.

A rather bold idea for beating traffic, eh?


Rendering via Elkus Manfredi Architects

↑ It’s like Roommates 2.0—apartment developments where everything is basically common area/shared except for the bedroom, the kitchen, and the bathroom.

The developer of one co-living project in Boston described the approach as a “millennial resort.”

The co-living concept has crept into Boston-area real estate more and more this year, but it’s not clear yet if it’s the wave of the future. Remember what happened to micro-apartments after all.

Tap-and-go T fare

Kit Leong/Shutterstock

↑ The MBTA decided in 2017 to move much of its transit infrastructure toward a London-style, tap-and-go fare system.

Instead of the current setup, which includes cash on board some buses and trolleys, riders would use some kind of as-yet-devised successor to the CharlieCard or maybe a smartphone app to pay.

The approach has its benefits—it could substantially speed up boarding, for one thing—but it could also impact those used to paying with cash and without the means to do otherwise.

Go all out to draw Amazon’s second headquarters

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The state and various cities, most prominently Boston, have pulled out all the proverbial stops this year to lure the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters.

The idea is that the resulting development and the relocation of some 50,000 employees will prove a major economic engine.

A decision from Amazon is expected early next year. Will it all be worth it? GE’s relocation is not exactly lighting up the region.

Build more housing

Michael Moloney/Shutterstock

This blockbuster notion has gained steam of late through commitments from local governments to foster more residential development.

It’s also been driven by the reality that, aside from Boston proper and some of its more immediate neighbors, few towns and cities are actually building that much housing.

Building more housing, of course, would help satiate the region’s perennially high demand and therefore bring down prices and rents. Who would’ve thunk it?


Which should win best idea of the year?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    An aerial gondola
    (203 votes)
  • 2%
    (9 votes)
  • 7%
    Tap-and-go T fare
    (33 votes)
  • 13%
    Go all out to draw Amazon’s second headquarters
    (59 votes)
  • 30%
    Build more housing
    (132 votes)
436 votes total Vote Now