As we approach Election Day next Tuesday, I thought it was worthwhile to remind us all what this city looked like not very long ago. The photograph is Kendall Square in 1981. The blocks and blocks of empty parking lots formed MIT’s boundary. On the other side, low industrial buildings bordered East Cambridge. In between sat an abandoned, aggressive urban wasteland.
That land has seen many transformations over the intervening years and it is the basis of our debates today. Still, as we make our way to the polls next Tuesday, we should remember that returning to the past of this photograph is not an option in any sense. Our communal discussion must rightly and importantly be focused on how we go forward, together, as one community, in this challenging but opportunity-filled time.