Founded by John Winthrop in 1630, the Puritans’ “city upon a hill” and its surroundings are the sites of many urban “firsts.” Boston Common, the first public park in the nation, was established in 1634. This was swiftly followed by creation of the nation’s first free public school (1635), establishment of Harvard (1636) in nearby Cambridge, and enactment of the first tidelands legislation (1698). Nearby Lowell, the first planned industrial community in the country, was established in 1821. In 1826 another nearby community, Quincy, was the site of the nation’s first railroad. The country’s oldest regional park system was born with the 1893 creation of the Metropolitan Park Commission, and the city unveiled the nation’s first subway system in 1897. The string of “firsts” in public works continues today. After the state invested $4 billion to clean up Boston Harbor, in 1997 the National Park Service dedicated the Harbor Islands National Park and began developing a plan for its 31 islands. And most notably, America’s largest construction project-the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel construction, popularly known as the “Big Dig”—has been underway since 1991.