We recently co-hosted an open house with the Mystic River Watershed Association and Stoss Landscape Urbanism. Our goal was to solicit feedback on the proposed Charlestown Lower Mystic Greenway which would connect existing sections of the Boston Harborwalk and provide increased open space and waterfront access.
The gathering included informational posters about climate vulnerability and the goals of Climate Ready Boston, of which Charlestown is a focus area. Climate Ready Boston calls for both short and long-term plans to address known flooding risks by redesigning the waterfront from Ryan Playground to the MassPort terminal. As of now, the shoreline along the Flatley Company properties, which include the Shrafft’s Center, are hard edges where the river abuts vast parking lots of impermeable pavement.
Given sea level rise and an increased frequency of flooding, the property owners and the City of Boston recognize the need to redesign this shoreline to protect against flooding while simultaneously providing potential public access and amenities. This includes raising the shoreline barriers to block storm surges and constructing permeable barriers to absorb water. The Flatley Company was an active partner in the open house and is excited about making their property more resilient.
Given sea level rise and an increased frequency of flooding, the property owners and the City of Boston recognize the need to redesign this shoreline to protect against flooding while simultaneously providing potential public access and amenities.
We displayed engagement posters asking attendees to vote on which types of spaces and amenities they would most like to see along their waterfront, ranging from a public beach to stormwater gardens to new retail spaces. While the open house was simply a first opportunity for public input, some of the most popular ideas for the space were walking and biking trails, a waterfront wetland and boardwalk, and a living shoreline. We also asked attendees to identify the areas along Medford Street that they felt were the highest problem areas for biking, walking, or accessing existing open space.
While the open house was simply a first opportunity for public input, some of the most popular ideas for the space were walking and biking trails, a waterfront wetland and boardwalk, and a living shoreline.
|Photo: Stoss Landscape Urbanism
Over the next few years, Charlestown will be ground zero for the reconstruction of the North Washington Street Bridge, Rutherford Avenue, and Sullivan Square. All of those projects call for the expansion of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure as well as new open space. The construction of a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge from Everett to Somerville and Charlestown will further increase the mode share through this area, requiring further capacity building.
Because of this activity, part of the project will also be looking at what design changes can be made to Medford Street including the adjacent green corridor and rail line. A potential new greenway could connect from Main Street south along Medford Street all the way to the Charlestown Community Center, the Lower Mystic Channel, and down to the Navy Yard. City Councilor Lydia Edwards spoke at the open house about the need for climate resiliency, enhanced open space, and safer streets throughout Charlestown.
More Ways to Get Involved
- Group Bike Ride - If you're interested in joining a biking tour to discuss connectivity in this area, please join us on Monday, July 16th for the Charlestown Rail Trail and Lower Mystic Connections Ride. This will be a great opportunity for people to speak with project leaders and advocates about the vision for this project, and share their feedback.
- Community Vision Survey - We're also still collecting feedback before we begin the design process, so please complete this survey if you live, pass through, or just care about Charlestown.