Editorial: Egleston’s gentrification debate

Egleston Square is now officially the latest front in Boston’s gentrification debates. It’s time for some real urban planning and a recalibration of JP’s moral compass.

Egleston, and Washington Street in general, are among the last bastions of immigrant and working-class opportunity—in Boston, let alone in JP. In various locations, we see longtime businesses being displaced by gentrification-inspired projects.

Most of these projects are not coming from locals, and are plainly intended to move most of them aside rather than provide them with opportunity.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority has long talked of a unified Washington Street planning process. Well, it’s now or never.

And we need more political leadership like that of City Councilor Tito Jackson, to remind us that sustainability and respect are as important as profit.

Some people find it comforting to think of displacement and gentrification as a law of nature, rather than an artifact of greed and a failure of foresight. JP should not wake up one day and realize it traded an actual neighborhood for another slew of high-turnover condos and luxury-chain strip malls.

JP is smarter than that, and so are some developers. Let’s get everyone in a room and plan a future Egleston Square that still has great Dominican restaurants, still shakes hands with Roxbury—in short, that is still Egleston Square.

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