The sentiment of this editorial in today's Globe I think applies directly to Harvard's expansion. Is Boston a world-class city for everyone, or only for some people? The Globe is prompted to write because of the opening of the Mandarin Oriental in Boston, whose "tempting offers" include hotel rooms starting at $525. There is nothing wrong with another ultra-luxury hotel, but we also need development designed to improve life for the regular people.
The Globe quotes the The Boston Foundation who says that the City and State face serious challenges that require "extraordinary collaborative efforts." Here in Allston, where Harvard's campus is expanding, residents daily see those challenges in areas like housing, transportation, and education. So far, we don't see much serious collaboration with Harvard or others to improve things in these areas.
The editorial concludes with the aspiration for collaboration that "would be truly great if it could also produce a world-class city for everyone else". If Harvard develops hundreds of acres in Allston and its neighbors are just an afterthought, as it seemed from last night's presentation, a tremendous opportunity for collaboration will have been missed.