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Boston 2025: The most noticeable ways the region’s landscape will change by then

Transportation, towers, and more—residents won’t be able to escape the alterations all around them

Due to plans coming together now and in the recent past, the Boston region is due to have quite a busy time of it in the early part of the next decade. Here are four inescapable ways the region’s landscape-slash-streetscape will have changed by 2025.


Transit expansions and alterations

Along the Green Line’s future path in Somerville in March 2018.
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Residents will likely notice the landscape changes via transportation more than through anything else. It will be hard not to—hundreds of thousands of us will navigate these changes daily.

The biggest one will perhaps be the Green Line extension through Somerville into Medford. Work on that 4.7-mile sprout is supposed to wrap in 2021, bringing with it not only regular trolley service to the likes of Union Square and Tufts University but new development all around the new and refurbished stops.

As for driving, a major state plan to sink the Massachusetts Turnpike in Allston to ground level and elevate a nearby section of Soldiers Field is due to be an inescapable part of the landscape in Boston proper’s western reaches. Construction, after all, is expected to take several years beginning in the early 2020s.

Also, expect more bits of roadway to give way to bike lanes—and protected ones at that. And, for bikers, look for even more bike-share options, including dockless bikes peppering your neighborhoods. Dare we say battery-powered electric scooters, too?

New tall buildings

A big construction site in downtown Boston, for a tower called Winthrop Center.
Construction in Winthrop Square in early 2018.
Boston Globe/Getty Images

In the 2010s, two towers in particular shot into the Boston skyline: the 742-foot One Dalton and the 685-foot Millennium Tower.

Look for two more tall numbers to join the skyline by 2025: the 691-foot Winthrop Center and the 528-foot One Congress. Both, too, will join myriad new buildings under 500 feet—which, let’s face it, is rather tall by regional standards.

These new buildings will not only muscle in on the skyline views from the Longfellow Bridge or the Mass. Pike. They will also bring in thousands of new workers, residents, guests, etc. to the areas in which they rise.

Housing construction—lots of it

About new residents: The Boston region keeps on adding people. Boston proper is expected to have between 710,000 and 724,000 residents by the end of the 2020s—a 15 percent to 17 percent increase from today.

To accommodate the likely demand for housing from these and others, Boston and several surrounding cities and towns have committed to facilitating the construction of tens of thousands of new units. The effort is likely to consume parcels big and small, so look out for a lot of residential construction in the early 2020s.

... Gone tomorrow

Boston Globe via Getty Images

Per most of the above, familiar sites and features around the Boston region will go poof in the early 2020s.

Beloved restaurants and bars, the giant old Suffolk Downs race track, beastly carparks we've all gotten used to seeing—they’re disappearing from the landscape because of new development and other changes such as higher rents.

Some are already well on their ways, including the old Flower Exchange and the Government Center Garage. Boston City Hall, though—that’s a survivor. Look for that in 2025.

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