South Boston Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan

Following the completion of the Seaport Public Realm Plan (1999) the BRA initiated a public planning process to develop a Municipal Harbor Plan (MHP) for the South Boston waterfront. The planning effort was to formalize the City’s waterfront vision as illustrated in the Public Realm Plan and also establish a waterfront planning context for the new development anticipated along the South Boston waterfront following the construction of the Central Artery Tunnel Project, the completion of the MBTA’s Silver Line and the State’s new Convention and Exhibition Center. The final plan that was submitted to the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and in December 2000 was the result of many months of public meetings and significant input from area residents, property owners, neighborhood organizations, harbor advocates and an MHP advisory committee appointed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino. The Plan is the most expansive and ambitious of the City’s harbor plans including all areas subject to the state’s Waterways Regulations (Chapter 91) extending from West 4th Street at the end of the Fort Point Channel to Pier 4 along the inner harbor. The MHP planning principles developed to guide future waterfront development, enhance the public realm and activate the waterfront include: the promotion of access to Boston Harbor as a shared natural resource; the preservation of the industrial port; the development of the area as a vital mixed-use neighborhood; development of the district as an integral part of Boston’s economy; and ensure all of Boston’s neighborhoods share in the benefits of new private investment. The objectives and vision outlined in the South Boston Public Realm Plan and MHP have provided a framework for the current development boom in the South Boston waterfront and the success of the Innovation District.

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