Langone Park & Puopolo Playground – Resilient Waterfront Park Design

In collaboration with the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD), Weston & Sampson led the community outreach, design, permitting, and construction for the comprehensive renewal of this 4.5-acre signature waterfront park in Boston’s historic North End. Once the site for the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, Langone Park & Puopolo Playground is now the active recreation lifeline for Boston’s most densely developed community, with no other field assets located within the area; it provides critical, equitable active and passive recreation opportunities to a diverse, multi-generational population. The park is also a critical link within Boston’s HarborWalk, a network of publicly accessible corridors that provide the interface between public and private properties and access to Boston Harbor.

Weston & Sampson’s interdisciplinary design approach, from initial concepts and schematic design to final documentation and construction, included cohesive collaboration with the city and leveraged the unique, dynamic history of the site as a beach and bath house, then the site of a range of commercial and industrial uses, and now as a climate-resilient signature waterfront park.

This park/open space project is the first in the city designed with climate-resilient features embedded throughout to protect the park’s shoreline, the neighborhood, and other public assets from projected sea level rise and an increase in storm events. Our landscape architects and resiliency experts worked with the BPRD, Climate Ready Boston, and other city agencies/stakeholders to elevate the boardwalk so it sits independent of the ground surface and seawall, develop an integrated seawall internal to the park with overlooks/seating, and incorporate raised park features. We used innovative approaches, including ground improvements and lightweight soils to elevate the park up to seven feet without affecting adjacent structures, properties, and the existing seawall. We also implemented stormwater and infrastructure protection strategies to allow for programmed flood pathways and faster recovery of the park and neighborhood after storm events and for the future connection of off-property stormwater systems that will reduce potential flooding pressures in the city.

Other park improvements and amenities include a high-performance natural turf Little League baseball field, a multi-sport synthetic turf field, a universal access playground, a memorial garden, bocce and basketball courts, and plaza spaces that allow for expansive harbor views, access to the water’s edge, and an open and inviting connection to the neighborhood.


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Environmental Business Journal 2020 Business Achievement Award Project Merit: Climate Resilient Design

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Civil Engineering Today: Langone and Puopolo

Civil Engineering Today: Langone and Puopolo

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