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Moakley Park plan aims to make Boston’s largest waterfront park climate-resilient

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More trees, porous pavement, underground water storage among proposals for protecting greensward

Renderings courtesy Stoss Landscape Urbanism, One Architecture & Urbanism (ONE), and Nitsch Engineering

Boston is out with the details of a plan for protecting Joe Moakley Park in the South Boston-Dorchester borderlands from the effects of climate change.

The 60-acre greensward is Boston’s largest waterfront park, but it’s prone to flooding. The flooding can make some of its playing fields unusable. What’s more, the flooding is only expected to worsen as sea levels around Boston rise. That means Moakley Park could end as a kind of Belgium-like gateway for regular ocean flooding that invades nearby neighborhoods.

To counter that, Stoss Landscape Urbanism​, along with partners ​One Architecture and Urbanism (ONE)​ and ​Nitsch Engineering, have come up with a multifaceted defense on behalf of the city.

That defense includes proposals such as berms and raised landscapes; chambers beneath playing fields that can hold nearly 5 million cubic feet of stormwater; porous pavement in the parking areas; offshore breakwaters; many, many more trees; and swale systems along adjacent streets to provide an additional 700,000 cubic feet of stormwater storage.

The plan would also turn a stretch of Day Boulevard along South Boston’s Carson Beach into a vehicle-free promenade. And that’s part of the plan too: Making Moakley Park not only more resilient in the face of rising sea levels, but upgrading it for park-goers.

The city has no set timeline for the plan nor funding set aside yet. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, check out what the finished product might look like.