Waterfront Parks and Public Spaces

Thursday, June 4, 2020, 8:45 am – 5:00 pm
** This event will now be entirely online**

Join local and national leaders for a day-long series of panel discussion, virtual tours, and a keynote town hall about inspiring, inclusive, protected waterfront parks and public open spaces.



With major park planning initiatives across Boston and efforts throughout the region to build a resilient waterfront, this is the time to come together to learn about best practices in other cities and the work underway locally.

How can we design, fund, build, maintain, and program a transformative, welcoming, and resilient waterfront and islands to protect and enhance our region? How can we ensure that parks and public spaces along Boston Harbor are truly for everyone?

Join Boston Harbor Now and public, private, and nonprofit partners for a second biennial event to address our harbor’s opportunities and most urgent challenges, with a focus on how we can work together to move key policies and projects from planning to action. The planning and design decisions we make today will impact our waterfront for decades to come. Only by collaborating and breaking down silos will we get it right.


Schedule for the Day


Registration & break out rooms – 8:45 am

Welcome & reflection – 9:15 am

Panel Discussion 1: INSPIRE  – 9:30 am to 10:50 am

Panel Discussion 2: INCLUDE – 11:00 am to 12:20 pm

Discussion groups (over lunch) – 12:40 pm

Panel Discussion 3: PROTECT – 1:15 pm to 2:35 pm

Virtual Harbor Tours (pick one) – 2:45 pm to 3:50 pm

 > Moakley Park + Fort Point Channel

> Charles River

> Mystic River in Charlestown

> Charlestown Navy Yard

> East Boston Waterfront

> South Boston Waterfront

Town Hall Keynote – 4:00 pm

Closing Remarks – 4:45

Access Videos and Resources from the conference here


How to radically reimagine public spaces and design waterfront parks for the future.







Jamie Maslyn Larson — Director of Landscape Architecture, Bjarke Ingels Group

Gia Biagi — Commissioner, Chicago Department of Transportation

Vaughn Perry Equitable Development Manager, 11th Street Bridge Park

Nick Iselin — General Manager of Development, Lendlease (Moderator)

Liza Meyer — Chief Landscape Architect, Boston Parks and Recreation Department (Local context)



How to make waterfronts feel welcoming to everyone and improve access to parks for all.







Dr. KangJae “Jerry” Lee Assistant Professor in the Department of Parks, North Carolina State University

Sara Zewde Founding Principal, Studio Zewde

Najah Casimir Communications Manager, City of Cambridge Traffic, Parking, and Transportation

Adrian Walker — Metro Columnist, Boston Globe (Moderator)

Stephen Gray — Principal, Grayscale Collaborative (Local context)



How to balance resilient infrastructure and public access along vulnerable waterfronts.







Heather Morgan — Sustainability & Risk management Lead for Metro New York, AECOM 

Rogelio Madan — Chief of Community Planning and Sustainability, City of Miami Beach

Mia Mansfield — Director of Climate Adaptation and Resilience, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (Moderator)

Nasser Brahim — Senior Planner for Climate Change Risk & Resiliency, Kleinfelder (Local context)

Lindy Lowe Resilience Program Director, Port of San Francisco


Guided Tours

Choose from 6 guided tours presented virtually by local experts.


Moakley Park + Fort Point
Amy Whitesides, Director
Stoss Landscape Urbanism


Charles River
Laura Jasinski, Executive Director
Charles River Conservancy


Mystic River
Amber Christoffersen, Greenways Director
Mystic Watershed Association


Charlestown Navy Yard
Ruth Raphael, Landscape Architect
National Parks Service


East Boston
Gretchen Rabinkin, Executive Director
Boston Society of Landscape Architects


South Boston Waterfront
Rich McGuinness, Deputy Director for Climate Change and Environmental Planning
Boston Planning and Development Agency

Town Hall Keynote

End the day with a conversation about what Massachusetts is doing to transform waterfront parks and opens spaces statewide.
Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides
Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Show your for Boston Harbor


Pick up a limited edition Harbor For All branded swag bundle to round out your virtual conference experience.

This bundle includes:

– 100% cotton Harbor Blue tote

– Harbor Sunset Orange notebook and pen

A portion of your purchase directly supports Boston Harbor Now’s mission to advocate for an accessible, inclusive, and resilient waterfront, Harbor, and Islands. Limited quantities are available. Grab yours now!


Partners for Boston Harbor for All include
 Agency Landscape + Planning
Boston Society of Architects
Boston Society of Landscape Architects
Boston Planning and Development Agency
Charles River Conservancy
 City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department
Conservation Law Foundation
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Massachusetts Port Authority
Mystic River Watershed Association
National Parks of Boston
Neponset River Greenway Council
Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
Stoss Landscape Urbanism
The Trustees of Reservations – Waterfront Initiative
Weston & Sampson


This event has been approved for certification maintenance credits for Landscape Architects (4.5 LA CES  HSW for the three panels). It has also been approved for AICP credits for urban planners (3.75 CE for the three panels).




For additional information or to request translation services, please contact Alice Brown at abrown@bostonharbornow.org.