Downtown Waterfront Planning Initiative

Interactive Feedback Map

You can share your thoughts and ideas with us via the Interactive Feedback Map throughout the month of March! Click the image below, or use this link to learn about the Design & Use Guidelines project, and access the feedback map. You can come back for updates, news, and recordings of events.

Visit the Interactive Feedback Map

Downtown Waterfront Design and Use Guidelines

The Design and Use Guidelines are being developed to advance the open space and public realm objectives of the 2017 Downtown Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan & Public Realm Activation Plan. The guidelines are intended to provide consistent design standardsfor both exterior and interior public spaces, wayfinding elements, landscaping, signage and public amenities to improve connectivity within the district and to adjacent open space resources such as the Greenway and Boston Harbor. Climate resilience will be a priority in the development of the Guidelines to ensure the long-term viability of public spaces. Design options to support a variety of year-round public activation and programming will also be explored. Additionally, the project will develop management concepts to better coordinate vessel berthing, water transportation and shoreside support infrastructure. The final Guidelines will inform new development and public realm improvements to ensure the district is welcoming, active and accessible to all residents and visitors.

Background on the Downtown Waterfront Planning Initiative

The Downtown Waterfront Planning Initiative was initiated to implement the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway District Use and Development Guidelines, which were adopted by the BPDA in 2010 to preserve and activate the Greenway’s open space resources and enhance connections between the Downtown’s neighborhood districts and waterfront.

A Municipal Harbor Planning process was initiated in 2013 to harmonize the Greenway Guideline’s recommendations with the state’s Waterways Regulations and leverage new growth spurred by the removal of the elevated artery and Harbor cleanup to improve dated public infrastructure and enhance public use of the waterfront. The resulting Municipal Harbor Plan and Watersheet Activation Plan developed flexible dimensional standards for the Harbor Garage and Hook Wharf sites, and improvements to the public realm and waterfront to be delivered along with the redevelopment of the properties. The Harbor Plan provides over an acre of new open space including a new park and Harbor Islands Gateway at Long Wharf, additions to Harborwalk, funding to support activation of the Fort Point Channel, and support ofthe New England Aquarium’s Blueway Vision.

Public Meetings

Design & Use Guidelines for the Downtown Waterfront Public Meeting

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 | 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Meeting video recording

At the first virtual community workshop for the Downtown Waterfront Design & Use Guidelines, we shared ideas on how to better activate, navigate and adapt the Downtown Waterfront, and how to make the public realm more welcoming and accessible to all residents and visitors.

Documents All Documents »

Share Your Thoughts

We want to hear from you! All questions, comments and ideas are welcome. Comments are received and reviewed by members of the Downtown Waterfront Planning Initiative team.

To submit a comment in a language besides English, please email
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  • Boston Planning & Development Agency
  • One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
  • Tel: 617.722.4300  Fax: 617.248.1937
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