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TH25EM - Politics, Partnerships and the Public Process (BSA EPNet recommends)

Thursday, November 9 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Abstract Text:

In 1995, the East Boston Greenway was a community vision for a 3.3 mile long, multi-use linear park comprised of trails and parks, which would reunite a long- divided East Boston and would promote social and environmental justice. The trail would begin near Boston Harbor, travel along the former Conrail railroad right-of-way through Bremen Street Park link to Memorial Stadium Park and continue on to Constitution Beach. In 2017, it is 90% complete and serves a diverse, low income population of 40,000. This dynamic public space has changed the lives of residents throughout this working class community and has become the best route to the water from the Jeffries Point, Eagle Hill, Paris Street Flats and Orient Heights neighborhoods.

The Greenway is an astonishing example of a successful public-private partnership based on fervently held community values and implemented through creative public and private urban design moves. The Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) and the Trust for Public Land began the effort by persuading Conrail to donate its unused railroad right-of-way for the Greenway. DCR then agreed to build a segment of the Greenway in Constitution Beach. The MBTA allowed DCR to construct a new pedestrian bridge (Leers Weinzapfel) over the Blue Line tracks to connect the adjacent neighborhood to Constitution Beach. Massport carried out a three way land swap with the Central Artery Tunnel Project (Big Dig) that made the Park 'n Fly Lot next to the ConRail ROW available for Bremen Street Park. The MBTA agreed to demolish the inaccessible, dilapidated Airport Station and replace it with a new light - filled station on the Greenway. East Boston citizens then persuaded MassHighway to sink Route 1A northbound to an elevation low enough to accommodate a pedestrian connector that brings people through the community to the new station.

The East Boston Greenway has attracted both public and private investment.
• The MassPike preserved and facilitated the re-use of a nineteenth century railroad Engine House by the YMCA (Linea 5), in Bremen Street Park.
•The City of Boston built a new 17.4 million dollar 15,000 square feet East Boston branch of the Boston Public Library next to Bremen Street Park (William Rawn Associates).
•Excel Academy Charter High School built a facility next to the East Boston Public Library
•Embassy Suites Hotel at Logan Airport located in a location accessible to Greenway spur through Memorial Stadium Park.
•Porter 156 is developed near a Greenway spur through Memorial Stadium Park. bargmann hendrie + archetype converted this former bra factory abutting this park into 216 loft condominiums.

Learning Objectives:

How to envision, plan and develop trail projects with connections to mass transit.

How to develop and implement urban design ideas and will stimulate appropriate adjacent economic development.

How to build productive public-private partnerships.

How to facilitate a successful public community process.


Event Type: Emerging Professionals Pricing > Session


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