This year, construction will begin on three new city parks in East Cambridge. Following a collaborative process between City staff, community members, and other stakeholders, over four new acres of new public open space will soon be available for residents, families, employees, and visitors to enjoy.
Over the past several decades, the Kendall Square area in eastern Cambridge has transformed from an industrial area into a world-renowned center of biotech, high-tech research, and innovative companies. The area has also seen increased housing development, with over 1,200 housing units built during the past two decades. As the once-day-time office district becomes a lively neighborhood, the new parks—products of extensive planning and work with community members— will work together to support a growing residential population.
Building a Broader Open Space Network
Cambridge has long maintained an integrated, city-wide network of public and private open spaces that enhance our community.
Following the Kendall Square/Central Square Planning Study, the City sponsored the Connect Kendall Square Open Space Planning and Design competition to generate creative approaches and develop a comprehensive open space vision for the area. The competition attracted a wide range of planning and design firms and encouraged new thinking regarding open space design and the overall public realm, connections, programming and placemaking.
The resulting framework plan was used to facilitate the creation of open spaces that further promote the innovative character of the area, help create a sense of place and community, and guide the character and role of existing and planned open spaces.
Acres of New Parks
Three new parks will provide a range of opportunities for people to engage, relax, play, and enjoy the neighborhood:
- Rogers Street Park, located at Rogers Street and Third Street, will include field area along with a play hill that provides a unique immersive play landscape. The sloped lawn will encourage snow play in the winter and community events like movie nights during warmer seasons. There will also be a walking path through the park and seating and tables set under vine-covered trellises.When completed, the park will be dedicated to City Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. for his dedicated service to the citizens of Cambridge.
Binney Street Park, located between Binney Street, Galileo Galilei Way, and the Grand Junction Railroad corridor, will include an off-leash dog run edged on the outside by a public plaza and park seating set amid plantings and shade trees. This “porkchop”-shaped space will also include a segment of the Grand Junction Greenway multi-use path, a planned regional off-road connection that will run alongside the railway corridor.
- Triangle Park, located at First Street, Edwin H. Land Boulevard, and Binney Street, will be a new park plaza suitable for small-scale community events and informal lunches. The design proposes an elevated walkway that brings visitors into a grove of trees at the narrow, “pointed” end of the site, overlooking the Longfellow Bridge and Charles River.
For more information about the new East Cambridge parks or open space in Kendall Square, please visit www.cambridgema.gov/kendallopenspace.