What happens to water in the urban environment? Throughout the Greenway, each phase of water remediation is celebrated with signage, sculptures of wildlife, boat forms heading downstream, and engaging interactive art emphasizing environmental education and awareness. Example: participant puts aluminum contaminated water molecule into sculpture of reed, sees what large scale water molecule looks like with/without heavy metals, showing heavy metal sequestraion by plants, chemically connecting water in all of us, affecting health of people and planet.
Visitors follow water’s journey downstream, like boats to the ocean, spotting a different kind of lighthouse, marking sea from land. A retention pond east of Bypass Road which treats stormwater/road runoff is surrounded by recreation trails connecting to the Extended Harbor Walk. The water goes under the road connecting to the Greenway River, lower in elevation with dug out altered morphology, while new housing is significantly elevated above the riverbanks. Emergency walls protect existing structures during floods. New buildings are tall, compensating for Greenway space, are primarily residential, mixed income, diverse from high end to student housing, including artists’ workshops, small industries and retail on the first floor ensuring lively streetscapes. Rooftop community gardens invite urban agriculture, foster community and resilience, reducing the need for air-conditioning and saving energy. From the rooftop, landmarks visually connect the seascape: boat sculptures on the greenway “sail” downstream to meet the inner lighthouse on the channel and outer harbor island lighthouses beyond. We learn to sail to the sea from the city.
Based on Living Machines, there is a sloping gradient down to the river from woodland to wetland with shade trees at higher levels to deflect heat from buildings, wetland shrubs planted lower down the slope providing erosion control, and specific wetland plants remediating storm/road runoff along the riverbanks. Along the river are bioswales, semi-pervious walkways allowing infiltration, additional retention and remediation. Traversing the bioswales, one can see plants and soil beneath through openings and lighting design. At the river’s mouth, “Fort Point Park” has a Constructed Wetland, a pond where wetland plants and flowform designs remediate stormwater/road runoff. Clean water returns to the channel through a living plant waterfall improving the health and habitat of sealife. Fort Point Park is a central gathering spot, place of celebration, performance art, contemplation, and urban wildlife refuge.
Sculptural steps and the Greenway are sacrificial landscapes, buffering storm surges and flooding, making sea level fluctuation a visible spectacle. The steps are seats for park performances and more could be added later.
Living ecosystem designs balance hard and soft edges, create resilience through remediation and restoration of urban waterways, abate floods and rising seas while providing stormwater retention.
Living Shorelines- groins/boardwalks that extend into the water with wetlands to absorb storm surges, altering channel morphology and floating islands/structures to break waves- would aid other design projects.
Self Environmental Scientist/Designer
Maeve Hughes, Environmental Scientist/Artist/Designer/remediation, science and art ideas
Maria Jaakkola, Landscape Architect/Artist/Planner/landscape and urban design, ideas and drawings