As a waterfront community with mixed uses, Boston Harbor presents challenges for future development. With industrial, maritime, commercial, recreational, and residential areas side-by-side, understanding a holistic picture of Boston’s waterfront is essential to the success of growth and expansion.
At WPI’s Boston Project Center, a team of students worked in collaboration with project sponsor Boston Harbor Now to study opportunities to promote multiple uses for future growth and function. The student team included computer science major Ching Wing Cheng, electrical and computer engineering major Tyler Morris, and computer science major Thomas White. As part of their Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP)—a project that requires teams to delve into problems that matter to real people—the students investigated, identified, and suggested mixed uses in Boston’s waterfront.
Jill Valdes Horwood, director of policy for Boston Harbor Now, says the organization was seeking ideas for mixed uses on an operating waterfront. Proposed ideas needed to be exciting but within the real boundaries of what might be possible, allowed, and useful within an industrial waterfront.
“Boston Harbor Now is focused on improving the working port and really creating a 21st century waterfront,” she says. “The students are helping us put together mixed uses that are compatible with existing working waterfront industrial businesses.”