Stay Within Bounds

THE BOUNDARY agreement limiting Harvard's expansion into Cambridge expires at the end of December. We call on Harvard to extend that agreement for at least another year in order to allow considered discussion of the issues surrounding University expansion.

Harvard, as noted in a letter from the city's planning board to President Bok last week, has made no public mention of the negotiations. Instead, University officials say they are trying to reach "internal agreement" before dealing with the public.

Since the intent of any new red line will be to limit University expansion, and since that process vitally concerns the surrounding neighborhoods, it is imperative that the University involve city officials and residents before and not after a decision is reached.

Once the boundary is drawn, be it next month or next year, Harvard should stick to it religiously, not committing the occasional infractions that have marked the current agreement.

Institutional expansion removes homes from the market in a time of dire housing shortage in Cambridge, and increases the tax burden on the rest of the city. It also contributes to the destruction of residential neighborhoods.


Harvard has a stake in the Red Line decision. But so does Cambridge, so the new boundaries should not be drawn quickly or forced on the city.