How do you balance immediate pressure for development with the understanding that in the long-term, a site will be subject to regular flooding? The key lies in linking a vision for the built-out 100 Acre District with the ability to build in the District today.

For inspiration for LINKAGES, our team looked to the policy framework employed by Harborwalk. In our plan, the new street grid is established today—anticipating need—and requires developers to integrate supporting infrastructure into their development, similar to the segment by segment construction of a contiguous Harborwalk. As SLR becomes undeniable and investments in resilience gain public support, the City can link the developers’ segments to create a fully-functional, elevated street grid.
The Linkages proposed for the project will:

  • Contribute to the District’s future infrastructure: the street-facing sides of a building must incorporate a specific structural canopy system which will be linked by the City to adjacent buildings via an elevated roadway and utility network. Additional incentives are provided for buildings that provide public plaza area at this elevation.
  • Allow for ground-level inundation: the floodable lower floors are returned to developers in the form of an additional height allowance above the current 180′ limit.

Other principles employed in the design of the 100 Acres include:

  • Vertical Retreat: As sea levels rise, ground level uses and street levels will be raised to avoid wicked tides until they are fully abandoned (2050-2100) and the plaza level becomes the new street level
  • Elevated Infrastructure: Anticipate a future where South Boston’s major roadways and utilities in the District are elevated to the level of Summer Street and the BCEC
  • Phased Transformation: Incentivize new buildings that feature a plaza level at the Summer Street/BCEC level that can be transformed into the future open space network
  • The Beaches of Fort Point Channel: Ground level open space will over time convert to waterparks, accepting wicked high tides, storm surges and—inland of A Street—stormwater storage
  • Build the Ark: Connect the grid to large footprint buildings, renovated as resilient, self-sufficient, places of refuge in extreme events, and sites for recreation, energy and food production in the interim
  • Connect the BCEC with South Station: Plan for an elevated connection across the Ft Point Channel
  • Modified preservation: fortify existing buildings to withstand inundation
Company Name

Team Member(s)
Core team (NBBJ):
Alex Krieger, Principal, Urban Design leadership
Alan Mountjoy, Principal, Urban Design leadership
Kelly Lynema, Urban Planner, Project Manager
Pablo Licari, Urban Designer
Brandon Cuffy, Architect
Jim Gresalfi, Architect
Molly Howard, Urban Planner, Editor

Advising team:
Tom Sieniewicz, Partner
Patrick Tedesco, Principal
Michael Dembowski, Senior Associate, Architect
Bill Croteau, Senior Associate, Architect
Jennifer Sutherby, Architect
Andrew Zimmerman, Urban Designer
Lucy Brown, Architect
Zor Lee, Architect

ground, inc: Shauna Gillies-Smith, Landscape Architect
ARUP: Derek Anderson
Atelier 10: Larry Jones