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Public Realm Planning on Boston’s Downtown Waterfront [Video]

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The Downtown Waterfront Municipal Harbor Planning Advisory Committee heard an update on public access issues in the designated planning area from Long Wharf to the Moakley Bridge. The plan currently under development will eventually form the basis for new zoning along the waterfront side of the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway.

The presentation, shown in its entirety in the embedded video, included an updated pedestrian analysis from the Summer 2013 where interns classified people walking through various areas and mapping their activity at different times of day. A similar data collection exercise will be performed in early 2014.

The most used walking pathway is on Atlantic Avenue in a straight, linear fashion. The area in front of the Aquarium was also identified as heavy. Lightly used areas were discussed for future activation strategies, including along the Harborwalk. Scaled concepts, large to small, were presented as a means to reform the public realm in the planning area.

Themes coming out of the planning process for the public realm include “activating” low use zones, linking to the Seaport District, connecting pathways between Boston Harbor and the Greenway as well as improving water transportation. Some specifics include adding signage, paving solutions and enhancing the waterfront’s ferry terminals. In order to improve north / south connections, bringing the Harborwalk underneath the Moakley Bridge is under consideration. Planners also suggested creating a destination at Long Wharf.

Presenting was Matthew Littel of Utile Inc., consultant to the Boston Redevelopment Authority on December 18, 2013. A final draft report is expected to be released in the coming months. See the BRA webpage for more information.

View more presentations and updates regarding the Downtown Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan.