Please join us – October 29, 1-4pm +

Calling all Boston-area designers, scientists, activists, and citizens —

Please join us for the CDRC’s third annual public design charrette at ArchitectureBoston Expo.  This year’s topic:

LIVING WITH WATER

DSC_5209

It’s a familiar refrain: if Superstorm Sandy had hit a few hours earlier (or later), Boston would have flooded all the way to City Hall.  Seas are rising, storm severity is increasing, and coastal cities need to grapple with an increasingly wet world.

“Living With Water” resilient design, popularized in The Netherlands and elsewhere, is part of the solution. On Sandy’s second anniversary, join us for a hands-on design workshop to imagine how a future, wetter Boston will be different–and maybe even better.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

charrette kickoff:  1pm

reception & team presentations: 4pm

ABX session SB2

part of ArchitectureBoston Expo

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Hall C

415 Summer Street, Boston, MA  02210

Free and open to the public, but space is limited. Registration is required.  To RSVP, visit www.abexpo.com/exhibit-hall/design-charrette.  Architects may earn continuing education credits through self-report.

The LIVING WITH WATER DESIGN CHARRETTE is hosted by the Community Design Resource Center in partnership with The Boston Harbor Association and the Boston Society of Architects.

The CHARRETTE is conducted in conjunction with the Boston Living with Water International Design Competition, organized by The Boston Harbor Association, the City of Boston, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Boston Society of Architects, with generous support from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Barr Foundation.

The International Design Competition will launch at the Charrette — October 29 — the two year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.  Participants may choose to participate in the Charrette and/or the Competition.  Please note that registration two the two events is separate, and participation in one does not affect participation in the other.  The Charrette offers the opportunity for designers to explore Living with Water concepts, that they might develop in-depth for the Competition.  The CDRC aims to use materials generated at the Charrette to create neighborhood-based workshops in 2015, AND add another layer to the lively civic discussion about resiliency already underway.

DSC_5254

Both photos: Long Wharf, Boston, at “Wicked High Tide” — the twice-monthly lunar high tide, September 2014

Join us! Oct 29, 1-4pm+

Calling all Boston-area designers, scientists, activists, and citizens —

Please join us for the CDRC’s third annual public design charrette at ArchitectureBoston Expo.  This year’s topic:

LIVING WITH WATER

It’s a familiar refrain: if Superstorm Sandy had hit a few hours earlier (or later), Boston would have flooded all the way to City Hall.  Seas are rising, storm severity is increasing, and coastal cities need to grapple with an increasingly wet world.

“Living With Water” resilient design, popularized in The Netherlands and elsewhere, is part of the solution. On Sandy’s second anniversary, join us for a hands-on design workshop to imagine how a future, wetter Boston will be different–and maybe even better.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

charrette kickoff:  1pm

reception & team presentations: 4pm

ABX session SB2

part of ArchitectureBoston Expo

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Hall C

415 Summer Street, Boston, MA  02210

Free and open to the public, but space is limited. Registration is required.  To RSVP, visit www.abexpo.com/exhibit-hall/design-charrette.  Architects may earn continuing education credits through self-report.

The LIVING WITH WATER DESIGN CHARRETTE is hosted by the Community Design Resource Center in partnership with The Boston Harbor Association and the Boston Society of Architects.

The CHARRETTE is conducted in conjunction with the Boston Living with Water International Design Competition, organized by The Boston Harbor Association, the City of Boston, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Boston Society of Architects, with generous support from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Barr Foundation.

The International Design Competition will launch at the Charrette — October 29 — the two year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.  Participants may choose to participate in the Charrette and/or the Competition.  Please note that registration two the two events is separate, and participation in one does not affect participation in the other.  The Charrette offers the opportunity for designers to explore Living with Water concepts, that they might develop in-depth for the Competition.  The CDRC aims to use materials generated at the Charrette to create neighborhood-based workshops in 2015, AND add another layer to the lively civic discussion about resiliency already underway.

DSC_5254

Both photos: Long Wharf, Boston, at “Wicked High Tide” — the twice-monthly lunar high tide, September 2014

A dirt pile never looked so good.

woolson progress_6-27-14

 

Construction is underway at 44 Woolson Street!  The City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development has officially transferred ownership to the Boston Natural Areas Network.  Though it doesn’t look very green now, gardeners will  plant this summer.

 

For those who have been following this design process, you’ll recognize ideas introduced at the Fit City design charrette at last November’s ABX conference have made their way through to the final design….

 

Growing Community at Woolson Street Lot

 

A post written by our friends at the Salem Public Space Project.  Thanks for sharing!

 

w02 Collective social consciousness of waste, sustainable resources, economics, and pollution have influenced stakeholders to take a broader view of many design professions, especially architecture, which uses the greatest amount of resources of human enterprises. Indeed,  LEED (the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) helps establish standards of responsible resource making and gathering at the onset of design, while the temporal scope of architecture has also expanded beyond the finished building; design professionals need to take responsibility for the future maintenance and, even, potential disposal of the structure. Maintenance of a private residence requires the ultimate initiative of the owner; for public projects, the community is tasked with ongoing stewardship. Uncared for parks demonstrate that municipal trash pick-up isn’t enough. So, in addition to the materials, and the foresight, we need to also design for engagement; community building is a social and spatial problem, and creative design can aid the rigorous community organization of so many neighborhood leaders, activists, and planners.

w03SPSP was happy to be part of such an effort of Saturday, May 3rd in Mattapan in collaboration with the Community Design Resource Center (CDRC),  Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN), the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, and neighbors.  We were also delighted to re-use four bright orange frames initially created for another project.

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In tandem with the “Boston Shines” city-wide clean-up effort, we erected creative signage on the lot to communicate the message that the planned community garden needs more gardeners. Design for social engagement is a compelling design challenge; the project is often a temporary installation, with no budget, infused with contextual issues and histories, inherently political, that seeks to reach a diverse number of people in circumstances that often hinder civic participation. On the Woolson Street lot, while volunteers cleaned up trash and weeded around daffodils, we posted signs that signal the beginning of the transformation of a lot that has a history of tragedy, and a desired future of community, safety, commemoration, and beautiful gardens!

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If you would like to support the community gardens proposed at the Woolson Street Lot – support the project at Make Architecture Happen! 

Boston Shines

Join us on Saturday, May 3, 10am-1pm at 44 Woolson Street as we work with garden neighbors and friends to clean up the property and get it ready for construction.  It’s part of Boston Shines — an annual, city-wide clean up event.  What a great way to welcome Spring as well as the new garden!

The Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition and the Boston Natural Areas Network will be on hand to sign up folks who want to join the new community garden.

We will be there installing a handful of big orange frames to look something like this…  A means to draw neighborhood attention to and interest in this new garden.

Come grow with us!

design concept summary_Page_10

 

 

Woolson Street Garden Plans Underway

Over the past ten weeks, we’ve worked with residents, garden advocates, Mattapan activists, and City officials to generate and refine ideas for the layout of the new Woolson Street community garden.  Several priorities have been clear from the beginning:  the layout should be unique, creating spaces for neighbors to gather — to talk, to play, to share, to eat, to listen, to celebrate, to remember — as well as provide the infrastructure to grow vegetables.

Everyone contributed ideas during the initial layout brainstorm session, resulting in about twenty different schemes:

2014-03-13 13.23.32 - Copy

Which were then synthesized into three options:

woolson sketch A - Copy woolson sketch B - Copy woolson sketch C

Scheme “A” — the curved path, or the ‘fiddlehead’ scheme, was the runaway favorite.  Several variations on that scheme prompted discussion about details like path materials and the location of the raised beds and trees:

a2 - Copy a1 - Copy

 

Ray Dunetz Landscape Architects has taken these community preferences to the construction documents.  Now with technical considerations like the exact slope of the path and site drainage incorporated to the precise dimensions provided by the City’s engineering site survey (completed after the snow stopped falling in April), the revised scheme looks like this:

garden sketch_4-25-2014 - Copy

Construction documents are nearly complete.  The project will go out to bid in May, with construction to begin in a few weeks.  Gardeners, get ready!  Plots will open in June.

What Will Your Garden Grow?

The CDRC continues our FIT CITY work as we help our neighbors on Woolson  Street in Mattapan plan a new community garden.  At a public meeting in January, the neighborhood voiced strong support for a community garden at the city-owned vacant lot at 44 Woolson.  In February, the Department of Neighborhood Development issued an RFP for a garden on that site.  In March, the Boston Natural Areas Network submitted a proposal in collaboration with Woolson Street neighbors and the CDRC.  While we await official word from the City, we’re continuing to work with the neighbors in planning the garden.  If all goes well, our team will be awarded the project, and gardeners will plant their first seeds in June.

Imagine.

This:

woolson street existing2

 

to This:

perspective1_small

 

What will your garden grow?

 

 

What might “Fit City Boston” be? The CDRC Design Charrette at ABX Advances that Conversation

fit city charrette_11-21-2013_01At the Fit City Design Charrette at ABX on November 21, over 50 design professionals, public health advocates, and neighborhood residents brainstormed ideas for how to transform a handful of underutilized Mattapan sites into places that support active and healthy living.  A number of concepts emerged, incorporating elements of community gardens and urban farming, as well as play and exercise spaces.  Special attention was paid to connecting sites to each other to create a neighborhood network, and to connecting these sites to other existing and planned neighborhood amenities, like the Neponset River and the Fairmont Greenway.

All sites studied are real places that the City of Boston and others are hoping to transform into community spaces, depending on input from the neighborhood.

Ideas generated at the Charrette will be taken to neighborhood meetings for further discussion, and will be used to inform the ongoing planning processes.

A special THANK YOU to Woolson Street area residents, to Pastor Zephir and the Greater Boston Nazarene Compassionate Center, and to professionals from the Boston Public Health Commission, the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, the City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development, the Boston Transportation Department, the Boston Natural Areas Network, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Trust for Public Land, ReVision Urban Farm, the Fairmont Greenway Initiative, Enterprise Community Partners, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and the Salem Public Space Project for participating in the Fit City Charrette conversation!

Charrette @ABX 11/21

FIT CITY Design Charrette @ABX

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Hall C  415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210 (T: South Station)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

10:00am-2:00pm , ABX session SC1

FREE and open to the public

We want your voice! All are welcome.

The Community Design Resource Center and FIT CITY BOSTON invite you to join an interactive workshop to brainstorm ways buildings and open spaces might be redesigned to support healthy living. Boston ranks as one of the healthiest cities in the country, yet more than 50% of our adults are obese or overweight.  Our most pervasive chronic health challenges – obesity, type 2 diabetes, asthma, heart disease, stroke – beg for great design.

How can the built environment encourage a healthy, safe, and active community?

This builds on the FIT CITY BOSTON conference held at BSA Space earlier this year.   The charrette asks participants to create designs for several community spaces in the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston.  Ideas developed will be taken back to the neighborhood for discussion, and will inform existing and future planning processes around the Greater Boston Nazarene Compassionate Center (a local community service center), and multiple vacant city-owned lots – including those on Woolsen, Wildwood, and Flint Streets and Kripson Terrace.

Advance registration is highly encouraged.  Please allow extra time if registering day-of.  The FIT CITY Design Charrette is part of ArchitectureBoston Expo, or “ABX” — an annual convention and trade show that shares best practices in the architecture and building industry. Participants are welcome to visit the ABX trade show floor for free.

TO REGISTER for the Fit City Charrette: www.abexpo.com

Please email or call Gretchen at gschneider@architects.org or 617-686-4362 with questions.

Park & Gardens Rise Over Parking in Open Space Charrette

Several dozen South Boston residents gathered Saturday morning to sketch ideas for how the back-to-back City-owned parcels at 174 West 2nd Street and 175 West 1st Street might be redesigned as public park, community gardens, parking lot, or some combination of the three. This is the latest step in a longer conversation between the Department of Neighborhood Development and area residents about what the future of these currently vacant properties should be. Several different schemes emerged, exploring ideas like a large neighborhood lawn to meandering paths to grills and gardens (farm to table doesn’t get more direct!) to overlooks that take advantage of the sloping site and the public courtyard next door. Alternately, if the lots were maxed out for parking, the neighborhood would only gain 34 parking spots — a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the several thousand housing units soon to be finished nearby. All those incoming new residents mean that public parks and gardens will be all the more valuable, too. Next steps include the residents who participated today discussing these ideas with their neighbors; DND is looking to the community to guide how these parcels get improved.

While there’s naturally some disagreement over details of what to do, and no doubt there will be more passionate positions expressed as redesign gets closer and closer to reality, that’s all normal. It’s fantastic that so many residents are willing to share their time and ideas. It’s fantastic that the City is listening so closely to residents’ hopes, concerns, and suggestions for the parcels. And it’s fantastic that so many members of Boston’s design community were willing to share their time and expertise with residents today. A special thank you to the architects, landscape architects, and urban designers from Utile, Ground, Gamble Associates, Warner Larson, and designLAB. We look forward to the conversation continuing!

 

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