Boston Parks Department lauded for Langone Park and Puopolo Playground improvements
The Boston Parks and Recreation Department was recently recognized by Boston Harbor Now at their annual Onboard Awards event for the redesign and development of Langone Park and Puopolo Playground on the North End waterfront.
“By taking this new approach we put newly adopted resilient design standards into practice for the first time at a Boston park or open space property and served as a pilot project for others to follow,” noted Boston Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods. “Every element was designed both for functionality and resiliency for now and in the future.”
Langone Park and Puopolo Playground is one of the city’s oldest parks, as well as the site of the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. In March 2018, the park was inundated by flooding due to sea level rise after a nor’easter storm event where high tides breached the park's seawalls. This particular storm, in addition to an increased frequency in similar weather events, pushed climate resilience to the forefront.
“We are impressed by the community-informed design process, and the climate resilient landscaping and architectural features at the Park and are so glad to be recognizing the City and these waterfront spaces,” Boston Harbor Now President and CEO Kathy Abbott said at the February 9 event.
The Parks Department was recognized for features that have already successfully protected the space from high tide and storm surge events since the project’s completion. The climate-resilient design includes its incorporated inland secondary seawalls, elevated Harborwalk, and upgraded stormwater systems. Today, Langone and Puopolo serve as crucial flood protection for the surrounding area.
The design team created a plan for a multifunctional, stepped secondary seawall that improves protection from damaging storms while offering seating, to raising important park amenities, cantilevering the Harborwalk path over the water on stabilized micropiles, including LED lighting with raised utilities at high points onsite to maintain electrical resilience during flooding events.
Other park improvements and amenities include a high-performance natural turf Little League baseball field, a multisport synthetic turf field, a universal access playground, a memorial garden, basketball and expanded bocce courts, and plaza spaces allowing for expansive harbor views, access to the water’s edge, and an open and inviting connection to the neighborhood.
The reconstruction of Langone Park and Puopolo Park was also recognized in 2022 with the Public Works Project of the Year (Historical Restoration/Preservation $5m - $25m) from the New England Chapter of the American Public Works Association, the Silver Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts, and the Climate Change Project of the Year from the Environmental Business Council of New England.
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- Published by: Parks and Recreation