NOTE: All renderings (by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.) are concepts for consideration and do not represent finished design.


As the Trustees explore potential locations for the One Waterfront Initiative, we evaluate sites based on the following criteria:

The potential to serve as a world-class destination

  • Generate tourism and high visibility, drawing people from around Boston and well beyond;

  • Capture “spirit of place,” bringing forward the uniqueness or iconic nature of a place;

  • Rethink old infrastructure and celebrate historic or former uses unique to Boston;

  • Create potential for excellent, bold design;

  • Maintain or enhance local flavor and distinction.

Community need and relevance

  • Increase accessibility to open space and the water’s edge. Consider current and future public access via a range of transport;

  • Place high-value on public use, exploring types of engagement that would fulfill community need;

  • Address voids in communities under-served by green space;

  • Support economic development and community benefit analyses with sensitivity to gentrification and equity.

Climate resilience value

  • Address specific climate impacts and vulnerabilities;

  • Bring resiliency to the Boston landscape and activate it in local urban planning practice;

  • Design and implement creative solutions, guided by international best-practices and innovation.


  • Acquisition, construction, ongoing operations & management must be financially viable;

  • Regulatory frameworks are supportive or can be adjusted (within reason);

  • Waterfront geographies should reflect urgency of this work and concern for fast-moving markets;

  • Potential geographies should weigh overall viability of land remediation and transformation.