Seaport District Public Realm

Existing condition, September 2016 — Historic Fort Point Channel District and the urban waterfront between Moakley Courthouse and Boston ICA will anchor major development for offices and residences.
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Boston’s live-work-play neighborhood, conceived as an innovation district, has steadily evolved with each project built there over the past decade. It is the continuity of experience through streets, sidewalks, and open spaces that creates the identity of this vibrant urban place.

In South Boston, Reed Hilderbrand has created the landscape master plan for the city’s largest urban real estate development. Once a vast landscape of cheap parking lots, we planned the centerpiece—Seaport Square Park—to fulfill a vision established by Boston Global Investors, Morgan Stanley, Boston Planning and Development Agency, and Mayor Thomas Menino. The square connects to a series of neighborhood greens and plazas.

Seaport Boulevard was reconceived as a true boulevard, lined with trees and generous, planted islands. Landscape strategies are rooted in the recognition of the site as a landfill in Boston Harbor; open spaces and street character are organized along a conceptual gradient from coastal lowland to urbanized upland. The public realm follows consistent design principles, including the fluid, safe movement of pedestrians; siting of mature urban trees for continuous shade canopy; use of distinctive materials for paving and furnishings; the creation of key moments of refuge and recreation, and the application of universal accessibility throughout the neighborhood.

Reed Hilderbrand served as landscape architect and provided services from planning through full design and construction for all projects until 2018. The sale of the undeveloped Seaport District parcels to WS Development thereafter saw further design and implementation by NADAAA, SASAKI, and James Corner Field Operations.


Boston, MA


23 acres