Living in the BosWash

I have taken on an interest in learning about the emerging mega-regions in the country. The one that fascinates me the most is the one that I happen to live in, BosWash. This area extends from the northern suburbs of Boston all the way down the east coast to the southern end of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Currently, this region is home to over 50 million people, close to 20% of the population of the United States. The average population density here is many times higher than the national average. There are hardly any exurbs here; a near continuous spread of cities emerges North-South.


This image shows the mega-region in the year 2030. The deep red coloring represents heavily urbanized areas and is not far from what is present today.

Growing up I never realized how unique it was to live in an area like this. It is impossible to drive through Massachusetts without leaving an organized municipality. What Massachusetts natives think of as small towns typically have at least 10,000 residents. I realized on a trip to upstate New York that it is actually possible to hit the end of one town without entering another. This concept seemed absurd to someone living so close to the urban core.

Today each of the primary cities within this region are culturally similar to one another. Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. are all dense, liberal and expensive cities fully of young people. Eventually though, I think that these cities may begin to plan together on a regional scale. Already existant is the country's fastest train, Acela that runs from Boston to Washington. The population density and purchasing power of this area can allow for some spectacular projects in the future.