Building Community through Public Engagement in Fort Point
Sasaki project team gathers community feedback as they develop a plan for the future of the Fort Point neighborhood
Sasaki is currently engaged in planning and landscape design for 5.5 acres of proposed open spaces in the Fort Point neighborhood in South Boston. Building on previous plans and community input, Sasaki is working with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) to create an imaginative and grounded vision for the Fort Point Channel and the neighborhood’s open spaces.
Working with BPDA and the local Fort Point community, Sasaki is developing design concepts to transform surface parking lots, roadways, and other open areas within this hub of development into much-needed, connected green space.
The open space concept design includes the waterfront edge along the Fort Point channel and a plan for integrating a berm into the landscape, which increases coastal resilience while also enhancing connectivity and the overall waterfront experience.
The goal is to create a more welcoming, accessible waterfront for all of Boston that serves as a model for integrating flood protection into open space.
Jill Allen Dixon, AICP, associate principal and project manager
Sasaki is charged with envisioning new walkways, paving, overlooks, and programming, as well as reassessing configurations of street networks to improve neighborhood connectivity and access to amenities. To inform how Sasaki incorporates these elements into the design, the team has been gathering feedback from the broader Boston community to ensure these new parks can offer activities that will appeal to both neighbors and other Bostonians alike.
Since the 100 Acres Master Plan was completed in 2006, sea level rise and resilience have been recognized as increasingly urgent issues facing the Fort Point community and surrounding neighborhoods.
Without action, a significant portion of Fort Point could experience flooding at high tide by the 2070s. A much larger part of the neighborhood could be exposed to flooding in more intense coastal storms.
Scientists also project that the number of days when the temperature reaches above 90 degrees (F) will significantly increase in the coming decades. Hot weather poses health risks, especially for children, senior adults, and individuals with health conditions like asthma.
Shoreline flood protection will be integrated into the open space design to buffer against coastal flooding, storm surge, and tidal inundation. These protective measures along the shoreline will also create an active, accessible, connected waterfront edge.
The design team is currently exploring strategies for integrating flood protection measures into landscape amenities that provide additional value beyond pure flood protection. For example, a berm currently being considered by BPDA could double as an amphitheater looking toward the channel, or an elevated plaza providing waterfront views for the neighborhood. The goal is to leverage resilience investments to enhance the waterfront experience.
To learn more about Sasaki’s ongoing work to address flood risk along the Fort Point Channel with public and private partners, alike, read about our current partnership with the Boston Children’s Museum.