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Boston housing plan to focus on more construction in outlying areas

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Walsh administration revises goal for 2030 as population booms—and the boom in development does little to satiate demand

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Mayor Marty Walsh has revised the city’s housing construction target 30 percent upward— 69,000 units by 2030 instead of 53,000—as the city’s population continues to boom and Boston’s current pace of development, however brisk, fails to keep up with demand.

What’s more, the new plan—set to be announced on September 26—will focus on facilitating construction in outlying areas such as Readville in Hyde Park and the farther reaches of East Boston. The city also wants 22 percent of the newly built homes by 2030 to be designated as affordable.

Much of the revamp is due to Boston’s popularity. Its population is expected to tickle 760,000 by 2030, itself a major upward revision from about 709,000. The brisk building boom—18,000 housing units opening since 2011—hasn’t really kept up with this growth, rendering Boston’s rents and prices some of the highest in the civilized world.

The growth, and the growth in costs, has displaced residents and led to a general dyspepsia over the pace of development, with new projects in some areas—most prominently Eastie recently—often seen as harbingers of gentrification and further displacement.

So will a push to build more in these areas be met with open arms? Especially given the overall demand in Boston? It could be a tough sell, per the Globe’s Tim Logan. There is already pushback in some enclaves.

Meanwhile, the city is running out of spots for developers to build big downtown. And opposition confronts nearly every large-scale proposal in that area. What’d you think? Is the city’s new 2030 target laudable or too blue-sky?