Community Health & Environment People

North Square’s Sandro Carella Receives Good Neighbor Recognition Award

The Good Neighbor Recognition Award for September 2014 was given to the Sandro Carella of North Square. The award was presented by Recognition Committee Chair Janet Gilardi of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA).

In accepting the award, Sandro provides a review and update on the status of North Square.

There really is no need to present me with a good citizen award, but if you must, the below should go to explain it.

In May of 2012, a dear friend of mine, and of many in the North End died, Phyllis Rugnetta.  At this time,  I had an idea to dedicate a memorial outdoor picnic bench engraved with her name for the public to enjoy and remember Phyllis.

In July of 2012, I made a modest proposal to the City of Boston’s Public Improvement Commission that  would significantly improve the usability, accessibility and enjoyment by all of North Square.   Over the next year, I and a colleague developed drawings and a scale model and presented it at neighborhood meetings, gradually winning local support for the designs.

The City of Boston has since agreed that improvements in North Square are needed and issued a Request for Qualifications for design services. While they interviewed our team they hired an out-of-state engineering firm, to proceed with the project.

Our proposal sought to remove the chains on the North side of North Square and extend the existing brick sidewalk in the Square proper with alternative materials, which would be conducive to accessibility. Disabled veterans, wheelchair bound or otherwise physically challenged individuals and the elderly should be able to use the plaza.  This is, currently prohibited by the chains suspended from metal piers against the North sidewalk and irregularity of the cobblestone pavers.

It was clear to me that outdoor furniture, especially additional seating which is virtually non-existent in the plaza, was sorely needed.   I therefore provided, built and maintained, over the past few years, at my own expense a small array of outdoor furniture that is currently being enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.  The use they enjoy demonstrates the need for such amenities in North Square.

While some of the furniture has been stolen, most of it survives.

I will continue to study North Square, its patterns of use, and to propose ways to improve it for all of Boston’s citizens and visitors.

See previous winners of the NEWRA Clean Streets Good Neighbor Recognition Award.