College Students reimagine a new future for South Boston’s Moakley Park

Umass Amherst students in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning spent their spring semester reimagining the future of Moakley Park! 

In the Senior Capstone course entitled “New Park Design in Boston: Necklace to Network,” instructors Ethan Carr and Theodore Eisenman assigned Umass Amherst students to look at various parks throughout the City of Boston and come up with ways to enhance connections throughout our park system. Students were encouraged to get creative with their designs, and create a place of cultural and environmental significance for the surrounding community. 

Four groups chose to focus on South Boston’s Moakley park. Here is what they came up with! 

Submission #1: Backyard Playground

Backyard Playground embraces the idea of tidal flushing to reinvent the Moakley landscape and intermix programming zones, activities and functionalities. The team layered recreation, activity, backyard and habitat zones to create a park that is inviting to a diversity of residents during the day and night.  

Backyard Playground
Backyard Playground
Credit: Students Katina Decoulos, Samantha Bowman, Emily Noonan

Submission #2: Entrance to Entrance

Entrance to entrance realizes Olmsted’s vision for completing the Emerald Necklace and connecting Franklin Park to the waterfront at Moakley Park.  The team’s design transforms Columbia Road through a two way central bike lane, adding substantial tree canopy and establishing place-making structural artwork.  

Entrance to Entrance
Entrance to Entrance
Credit: Students Brooklyn Feng and Vincent Zhecheng Shu

Submission #3: Revitalizing Recreation

Revitalizing Recreation integrates best management practices throughout the design bringing Moakley Park to life. The design’s landscape features expand park user experience through interactive wetland exhibits, performance stages, and a boulder field to accentuate the views to the water.

Credit: Student Claudia Namoroff

Submission #4: Recreating the Recreational Landscape 

Recreating the Recreational Landscape explores the changing roles of landscape.  The team’s design provides a multi-layered open space experience including adaptive climate resilience which allows for water to enhance the park experience during coastal flooding.  The team expands recreation within Moakley Park by introducing rock bouldering, slack lines, frisbee golf, and yoga.  

Credit: Students Ian Finn and Connor Moloney


We want to thank the students at Umass Amherst for their hard work on this project. It gives our department something to think about as we continue to work on the Moakley Park Vision Plan

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