This planning study provided the urban design structure for the long-term redevelopment of a large triangle of land that is being recovered from its former use as rail yards and an interstate highway interchange. The land and air rights were purchased by Harvard University. The development area lies at the boundary of Boston and Cambridge and spans between Boston University and Harvard. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is responsible for redesigning and reconstructing the rail alignments and the highway interchange, freeing an area about twice the size of Boston’s Prudential Center development, which was built under similar circumstances.
Harriman was engaged by the City of Boston to provide an urban design framework for the area, so that the new interchange, street and open space networks will support a high quality, distinctive new district. Harriman was the prime consultant for a multi-disiplinary team that included transportation planners and real estate development specialists. The planning process was conducted with an extensive stakeholder and community engagement process.
The urban design framework establishes a system of streets and blocks within the district, complemented by a rich network of pedestrian and bicycle routes. The district will be bordered and threaded with open space. A key component of the urban design plan is the relocation of Soldiers Field Road to allow the extension of the Charles River Esplanade, completing a missing link in this historic public park corridor.