Organized around an extension of the Channel via a ‘Blue/Green-Way’ linking South Station to the Convention Center, the new District celebrates sea level rise and adapts existing infrastructure by functioning on multiple connected levels in phases. At the heart of the waterway is a new ‘Floating Piazza’ where art, food and performing arts engage the community, the water and the city. A series of hinged pedestrian bridges connect the Piazza northwards towards the anticipated South Station development.
To heighten awareness of water levels, ‘tidal-barometer light posts’ illuminate and visually broadcast sea-level, storm forecast, and temperature changes due to climate change. Observed sea-level rise displayed on these barometers trigger the phasing and implementation of the RE/Creation District.
Developments are loosely organized into three phases:
Phase 1 – Before 2025, sea level approaching El. 15 BCB. This phase focuses on review of the neighborhood’s Master Plan through community and local resident involvement. New, main infrastructure is constructed including the Blue/Green-Way, Piazza and pedestrian bridge to South Station. Short-term modifications are made to existing buildings such as exterior landscape features that provide temporary protection against flooding. Existing building owners can join financial resources and plan for longer-term adaptations and begin construction of an elevated pedestrian system.
Phase 2 – Expected by 2050, sea level approaches El. 16.5 BCB. Along the Blue/Green-Way, new tidal park terraces provide for pedestrian recreation. In the park’s tidal pools and the Channel, oyster beds filter the water. Infrequently flooded tidal meadowlands allow rising water to reach further inland, and use the tide to provide a cooling effect during heat waves. Existing buildings are adapted to higher sea level: first floors are repurposed as storage areas for decentralized infrastructure such as grid power and rainwater harvesting, and basement mechanical equipment is elevated. Planted roofs provide food and cooling. Local food is served on ‘Food Boats’. Any new buildings that are constructed sit at a higher elevation, with flooding resiliency in mind, and are connected to the new walkway system that extends through the older neighborhood buildings.
Phase 3 – Around 2100, sea level approaches El. 18.5 BCB. The elevated walkways are now vibrant pedestrian connections between buildings. Select, adjacent streets have been elevated to provide for vehicular access while other side streets are allowed to return to tidal meadowland, providing much needed cooling during heat waves, water management, and increasing water quality in the channel. New buildings are constructed with higher main entrances, critical infrastructure on higher floors, and green roofs.
The design for the Fort Point Neighborhood focuses on bringing people to the water and celebrating the unique character of the community. The RE/Creation District continues Boston’s historic re-creation of the water’s edge to accommodate its growth. In this case, in a manner informed by the unique community it serves and in the spirit of a resilient metropolis that turns adversity into an opportunity to be celebrated.
Haley and Aldrich, Inc.
Samir Srouji, Architect – Wilson Architects Inc.
Cristianne Peschard, Designer – Wilson Architects Inc.
Jacob Werner, Architect – Wilson Architects Inc.
Duo Yu, Designer – Wilson Architects Inc.
Owen Miles, Water Resources Engineer – Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
Heather Scranton, Geotechnical Engineer – Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
Sean Sanger, Landscape Architect – Copley Wolff Design Group
Regan Harrold, Landscape Architect – Beals + Thomas
Peter Agoos, Local Artist/Resident – Agoos D-Zines
Emily O’Neil, Art Community Organizer – Fort Point Arts Community
Mike Atwood, Geotechnical Engineer – Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
Mark Haley, Geotechnical Engineer – Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
Terri McEleney, Graphic Designer – Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
Richard Kosian, Civil Engineer – Beals + Thomas
John Bensley, Civil Engineer – Beals + Thomas
Liz Clark, Civil Engineer – Beals + Thomas
John Kastrinos, Hydrogeologist – Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
Keith Johnson, Environmental Engineer – Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
Adam McCarthy, Structural Engineer – McNamara Salvia