Design in collaboration with: Soledad Patiño
The site is located in East Boston right at the junction with the Greater Boston region. Transitioning between the urban core and the periphery and accommodating an industrial area, the site is an urban void that separates its surrounding neighborhoods, although it is well connected by mobility infrastructures. It used to be a marsh, a condition that changed with gradual fulfillment of land but due to sea level rise it will inevitably return to its origins. The main strategy of the project circles around the different scales at which the commons operate. The territorial scale seeks for the restoration and reconnection of the creek and the ecological system. The regional scale proposes the marsh reservoir extension and a remediation park.
The city scale projects three urban corridors located in relation to the preexistent mobility infrastructures: the west corridor allocates research programs and laboratories; the middle corridor provides community and education programs and connects the existing neighborhoods; and the east corridor holds financial programs and mix used next to the city metro line. The neighborhood scale has common spaces inside the residential blocks and typologies that are porous for pedestrian crossing from the hill to the park.
The scale of the commons is thought in different facing stages and understood as a process that involves a collaborative participation to co-produce shared goods and services at different scales. The first stage recovers the water connection and set strategic anchor points for the new urban corridors. The second stage focus on the remediation of the polluted landscape through channels with boiswales and infiltration points. It also defines and extend the existing neighborhoods. The third phase comes with the completion of the block typologies as well as the recuperation of the natural system.
Once the project is completed, the scales will overlap and interact with the different hierarchies of the commons: from the marsh continuity, to the urban corridors and the small scale public spaces of the neighborhoods.