As Boston cleaned up its polluted harbor in the 1980’s, a team of civic rock stars leveraged colonial laws to create requirements for public paths along the waterfront. The result was Boston’s Harborwalk, a near-continuous, 43-mile linear park along the city’s shoreline that enables public access to and installs pride in our harbor and rivers.
Our tour will highlight the history and challenges of the project, now nearly 40 years in the making. We’ll explore best practices (and not-quite-best practices) in public access, water transportation connections, and connectivity along a completed section of the Harborwalk that has been built iteratively over decades and now needs to prepare for climate change. We’ll also discuss the tools the Boston Planning & Development Agency has deployed to leverage land and resources from private development to make space for waterfront walking and placemaking.