Boston proposes new green space over the Mass Pike for the South End and Chinatown

Parcel 21: Between Washington & Shawmut Streets

Last week the Streets Blog had an article about the city of Boston using Federal funds to expand green space in the South End and Chinatown neighborhoods to cover the I-90 trench that divides the two neighborhoods. Considering the large number of sizeable residential buildings that now abutt Herald Street and the ongoing development, I take this as great news.

According to the article, funds will be used to convert four blocks of the I-90 trench, from Arlington and Tremont Streets in the west to Harrison Avenue in the east with a goal to reconnect these communities. Initial efforts will focus on building over Parcel 21 (shown above) to create open space with intentions to prepare design guidelines for the remaining parcels.

This decision marks a departure from city planning which for nearly 50 years has looked to private investment to build over the I-90 trench. Who can say if this new focus on stitching these neighborhoods together will materialize (this is Boston after all), but I’m heartened by the change in policy, because both the South End and Chinatown desperately need more green space.

I hope there will also be an effort to include tennis and basketball courts. The influx of residential buildings in this part of the city has put a huge strain on the only sizeable park in the area, Peter’s Park, which is nearly always at capacity.


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