BSLA Updates Community on East Boston Greenway Design Challenge Progress

Over the winter, the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA) kicked off an East Boston Greenway Design Challenge.

According to BSLA Executive Director Gretchen Rabinkin, the BLSA asked landscape architects to share some designs plans and ideas with the BLSA and the community for both short-term and long-term solutions for the section of the East Boston Greenway at Gove Street.

Last summer, Friends of the East Boston Greenway began a campaign to activate the spot with community events and outdoor music. The challenge builds upon these efforts with several visions for the space.

“We asked landscape architects to share some designs with us on both short term solutions that we might do at the Gove Street crossing this summer, as well as some long-term visions for the area,” said Rabinkin. “This is not a City of Boston project or a Massport project but just a fun way to start stimulating community dialogue on what this area can be. The ideas presented illustrate a start and offer some visuals to get the process rolling.  The Gove Street crossing can become not only a place people pass through, but a place to pause. The ideas architects came up with range from how the area might deal with stormwater to enhancing community activities like a farmers market to outdoor performance spaces for music and theater.”

The East Boston Greenway runs from Piers Park to Wood Island Bay to Constitution Beach and, someday, Belle Isle Marsh. The Greenway offers the opportunity to provide safe and beautiful access for all ages and abilities to the City’s largest and most significant salt marsh, to interior East Boston neighborhood resources, and to the City’s most important waterfront public spaces.

The East Boston Greenway also seeks to mitigate unwanted water from East Boston’s neighborhoods, and will be a primary vector for flooding control throughout East Boston’s interior as climate change accelerates.

Some of the ideas presented include incorporating storm water into the design and the park can be used both during flood events, as well as after water have receded.

“The BSLA design challenge for the East Boston Greenway presents an opportunity for the residents of East Boston to realize our vision of a Greenway that serves us better,” said Friends of the Greenway’s Kannan Thiruvengadam. “The Friends of the East Boston Greenway and the BSLA want participants to think big. Use your imagination to come up with ideas and submit them even if they are half-baked. We are looking for innovative solutions for our flooding issues and exciting features for people of all age and ethnic groups.’

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