A couple years ago, I wrote about how the Harvard/A-B relationship doesn't match any reasonable definition of partnership and unfortunately that truth is being reinforced by how Harvard and Boston's Mayor are announcing "major new economic development plans for the Allston-Brighton neighborhood" this afternoon.
This is not the first time that City Hall and Harvard have chosen to talk with the media about A/B before they talk to A/B residents. Just last week we learned from a Crimson story that Harvard would grant a request from A/B residents and allow them to meet with Harvard's Allston real estate consultants.
Maybe this afternoon's announcement will be great news - perhaps HBS will want to build a new building that, unlike the rest of its insular campus, does something to enliven both the HBS and A/B communities. Perhaps it will be the first step toward building the vibrant Western Ave that Harvard Professor Peter Galison and I hope to see. If it does, I will be the first to applaud.
But it is too bad that Harvard and City Hall didn't want to give any public notice about the time & place of today's press conference. Also too bad that they didn't want to give any public notice and didn't want any A/B residents to be at the event. It wouldn't be hard for Harvard and the Mayor to make this announcement at a public meeting in the evening when more A/B residents would be able to attend, ask questions, and maybe feel like we really are "partners".
Unfortunately John, I don't think Harvard yet really wants to change.
Thursday, October 14th, 2:00 PM
Mayor Menino will join Harvard Business School to announce major new economic development plans for the Allston-Brighton neighborhood.