Greening City Hall Plaza
Utile led a team of architects, planners, landscape architects, engineers, and regulatory experts that was tasked with proposing “realistic greening options that could be implemented in the near-term” for Boston’s City Hall Plaza. The consultant team, which consisted of Utile, Reed Hilderbrand, Durand & Anastas Environmental Strategies, and Nitsch Engineering, was awarded one of five projects under the Greening America’s Capitals initiative, a new program of the EPA-HUD-DOT Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The study prioritizes a full range of strategies that can improve the open space, including a much-improved stormwater runoff solution, landscape strategies that increase summer shade and reduce the heat island effect, new urban connections that improve bicycle and pedestrian access, and other physical adjustments that will result in a thoughtfully transformed civic space.
Building on the success of this EPA-funded effort, the City of Boston has conducted a study for the redesign of City Hall and the plaza, which references the framework plans and report of the Greening City Hall Plaza initiative and praises its success. Ultimately this effort has been a galvanizing force—ensuring that sustainability, accessibility, and a positive civic identity become recognizable drivers for change in Government Center.