Home' Commercial : Commercial Building and Design 2013 Contents 140 SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013
Setting the bar | World’s best
Thanks to Western Australia’s resources boom,
the State is now in the best position to invest in
key projects that will carry the economy to future
success long after the boom is over. By capitalising
on its opportunities, Perth has the chance to
significantly increase its diversity to shape
innovation, knowledge and culture as its core
attractions. But what can we learn from the past
experiences of more established cities that have
invested heavily in other sectors?
Dating back to the 17th century, Boston is one of
the United States’ oldest cities. While overcoming
countless significant events in history that could
have buried it, it was the city’s investment in
culture and education following its ‘blue collar’
success that really put it on the world map.
Boston was one of the nation’s largest
manufacturing centres from the mid-19th to
early 20th century, most notable for its leather
goods, garment production and machinery
industries. In this time, the city flourished
culturally and attracted literary residents,
historians, theologians and philosophers.
However, as factories became outdated and
businesses sought cheaper labour elsewhere, the
city was in decline by mid-20th century. The
initiation of urban renewal projects through the
Boston Redevelopment Authority saw the city’s
economy booming once again by the 21st century,
with a focus on education, medicine and high
technology, most notably biotechnology.
No longer the puritanical city of the past, Boston
is now often referred to as America’s most European
city. As a leading finance centre, the city is ranked
12th in the 2012 Global Financial Centres Index,
as well as equal first for innovation, alongside
New York in the 2thinknow Annual Innovation
Cities Index 2012-2013. It’s established itself as
an international centre of higher education and
medicine, home to a vast number of colleges and
universities, some of the world’s best in-patient
hospitals, and many cultural and professional sports
organisations. As the economic and cultural hub
of New England, Boston continues to draw people
from around the world to study, work and enjoy the
fruits of the hard work of its past.
Universities such as Harvard, MIT, Boston
College, Boston University and Tufts have not
only attracted throngs of students, they’ve also
generated a number of founders of successful
high-tech companies around the world.
The Boston of today is a blend of history and
contemporary style. It has one of the highest costs
of living in the United States, yet remains high
on world livability rankings, placing third in the
US and 36th globally. While the recent global
recession slowed things down, much like Perth
and the rest of WA, Boston came out reasonably
unscathed. Its tangible energy is thanks to a smart
investment in education, health care and culture,
ultimately securing the city’s economic future.
MIT Campus Photography Marcio Jose Bastos Silva / Shutterstock.com
Boston from the air.
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