Resilient Park Design

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) selected Weston & Sampson to develop major improvements to Draw Seven Park in Somerville as part of our Master Service Agreement. Our interdisciplinary team is currently providing urban design/landscape architecture, sustainability/resiliency, utility infrastructure, waterfront engineering, environmental permitting, architecture, facilities planning, public participation, and cultural resource planning services to redesign and revitalize this waterfront space into a climate-resilient park.

Located near the confluence of the Malden and Mystic Rivers and the evolving Assembly Square neighborhood and situated within major transportation corridors, we are developing design strategies that consider the park’s location and provide essential connections for residents and visitors. Our specialized design involves multi-disciplinary collaboration with our in-house coastal/infrastructure resiliency experts, representatives from DCR, and key project stakeholders. Together, we are working to establish an appropriate and highly sustainable armature between park and water that responds to climatic conditions and climatic changes and that corrects the chronic, periodic loss of riverbank.

To enhance this riparian park, our goals include an improved park footprint/layout, updated amenities and utilities, logical connectivity, ADA accessibility, multi-generational features, and creative yet sustainable design solutions, and our work includes an extensive public outreach and engagement program.

Given its location, Draw Seven Park is vulnerable to flooding based on the Boston Harbor Flood Risk Model (BH-FRM) developed by Woods Hole Group. The BH-FRM results indicate that the Amelia Earhart Dam located on the site will be flanked under future climate scenarios’ flood events and result in flooding in Cambridge and Somerville. Weston & Sampson is working together with Woods Hole Group to develop BH-FRM flood vulnerability design criteria, including annual flood probability, flood depths, residence times, and flood pathways for present, 2030, and 2070 time horizons. Our team is using this information to identify strategies to mitigate risk, including elevating the park grades to protect downstream properties, accommodate and embrace future flood waters (living shoreline), and design for incremental flood protection measures that may be implemented over time.

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Posted in Climate Resilience, Parks & Playgrounds, Resilient Design and tagged .