UMass Amherst/Boston Globe Poll Finds Greater Boston Residents See City as Resurgent Urban Center

Brian Schaffner

A University of Massachusetts Amherst/Boston Globe poll published today shows that residents of Greater Boston identify deeply with the capital city, and see it as a resurgent urban center that suburbanites visit more frequently than a decade ago.

The UMass Poll at UMass Amherst combines cutting edge Internet polling technology with leading expertise in political science. The result of this merger is accurate and swift survey results on the issues most important to Massachusetts residents. The poll is headed by UMass Amherst political scientists Brian Schaffner, director, and Raymond LaRaja, associate director.

The poll was commissioned by the Globe as the city faces a significant test, the election of its first new mayor in a generation. The race will kick into high gear after Labor Day as 12 candidates vie for support in the sprint to a preliminary election Sept. 24. The two top vote-getters will advance to the final in November.

Almost 90 percent of residents polled in Eastern Massachusetts believe the city has improved over the past two decades, according to the poll, which surveyed a region that is home to 3.3 million living inside Interstate 495. People said they feel safe in Boston, that race relations have improved, and that the city is better because Boston Harbor is cleaner; the Big Dig buried the Central Artery; and the development of the Seaport injected vibrancy into a once-forlorn stretch of waterfront.