Boston Common Overhaul

bigpicture7

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^ two things I liked about this story.

1) We're finally hearing about integration with an overall master plan for the Common (instead of this being some independent, side-effort)

2) They are asking a lot of the right questions about material durability, maintainability, as well as overall long-term maintenance expenses/planning

I was at first grumpy that it was delayed a couple of months, but now at least am satisfied with the activity going on during the time frame.

Really hoping this can be an impactful addition to the Common
 

Arlington

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It has been kind of embarassing/astounding that the Common has had worse materials and sorrier grass and paths than other parks in boston (e.g. Christopher Columbus park, Post Office Square, Seaport waterfront)
 

Blackbird

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It has been kind of embarassing/astounding that the Common has had worse materials and sorrier grass and paths than other parks in boston (e.g. Christopher Columbus park, Post Office Square, Seaport waterfront)
Fits with the vibe, imo. Hopefully the improvements won’t make the common feel too manicured.
 

Arlington

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^ Maybe I'm too suburban (I mow my own small lawn), but whenever I've been on the Common, I get this internal angst: "I wish there was something I could do to help" / "There's a cry for help just below my threshold of hearing" whereas the other parks (more Disney-fied, admittedly) simply invite me to relax.
 

stick n move

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First Look: Proposed Updates to the Boston Common

Article's behind a paywall, but photo slideshow should be accessible.
Looks really good. Cant wait for the mlk memorial especially. The best part to me by far though is all of the new trees. Theres not enough right now. Ive alwayssss felt like there should be way more trees. Its kind of half assed right now where the trees are too spaced out. I really want to see a canopy where the trees are and then open where need be. Go all the way not half way. This looks good.
 

bakgwailo

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Looks really good. Cant wait for the mlk memorial especially. The best part to me by far though is all of the new trees. Theres not enough right now. Ive alwayssss felt like there should be way more trees. Its kind of half assed right now where the trees are too spaced out. I really want to see a canopy where the trees are and then open where need be. Go all the way not half way. This looks good.
Just wait for the shadow laws on the Common to kick in.
 

stellarfun

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The 362 page master plan can be found here. Have at it.

https://www.bostoncommonmasterplan.com/
 

Equilibria

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This has a thread:

 

xec

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LOL. This is news to me. Since when has the Common been known as the "people's park"? Sounds very Communist China.

I think I'll start using that moniker in conversation and see how it goes over:

"I'm going for a stroll in the people's park. Want to join me?"

"When I lived in Back Bay I used to park in the people's garage that's directly underneath the people's park."

"Dear Friends of the Public Garden, I think you should consider a change of name to "The People's Garden". That way you can capitalize on the brand name recognition of the adjacent people's park, which would be of enormous values in your fundraising efforts."





4 Virtual Open Discussion Forums and 4,321 Online Survey Respondents is 3 Virtual Open Discussion Forums and 4,221 Online Survey Respondents too many. I learned this first hand by attending some of the innumerable meetings, presentations, workshops, etc. that were held to discuss what the Big Dig parks should look like, especially the Wharf District Parks. All that those discussions, community input, editorials, op-eds, etc. led to was some unimaginative, mediocre, and underfunded parks.

By contrast, the Fan Pier parks didn't have so much publicity and fanfare and public participation as far as I'm aware, but managed to turn out better.

Object lesson: increasing presentations, participation, etc. by a factor of 1000 doesn't necessarily lead to a 1000 times better result. Just like sometimes less is more, sometimes less gets better results.
 

Brattle Loop

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LOL. This is news to me. Since when has the Common been known as the "people's park"? Sounds very Communist China.

I think I'll start using that moniker in conversation and see how it goes over:

"I'm going for a stroll in the people's park. Want to join me?"

"When I lived in Back Bay I used to park in the people's garage that's directly underneath the people's park."

"Dear Friends of the Public Garden, I think you should consider a change of name to "The People's Garden". That way you can capitalize on the brand name recognition of the adjacent people's park, which would be of enormous values in your fundraising efforts."
Very amusing examples. That said, while it's not a common (no pun intended) name for the Common, I did a brief bit of searching and found references to the Common describing it as ("a" or "the") people's park, including in a New York Times article from the '60s, and what would appear to be the records of a public meeting in the 1870s, so there's definitely some historical validity to the term being used as a (somewhat poetical) description of the Common, rather than specifically a name. (Perhaps the modern equivalent would have "Boston Common" being the name and then "The People's Park" as the slogan underneath the name as part of a logo, perhaps translated into Latin for extra pretentiousness.) Doesn't change the oddness of focusing on such a relatively-obscure moniker in the publicity statements, though, as you succinctly and hilariously demonstrated.
 

DBM

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It was such an *open and robust public process,* they depleted the Downtown Staples' entire inventory of Stick-its in order to execute their *community stakeholder visioning sessions*...
 

Life Coach Mike

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LOL. This is news to me. Since when has the Common been known as the "people's park"? Sounds very Communist China.

I think I'll start using that moniker in conversation and see how it goes over:

"I'm going for a stroll in the people's park. Want to join me?"

"When I lived in Back Bay I used to park in the people's garage that's directly underneath the people's park."

"Dear Friends of the Public Garden, I think you should consider a change of name to "The People's Garden". That way you can capitalize on the brand name recognition of the adjacent people's park, which would be of enormous values in your fundraising efforts."





4 Virtual Open Discussion Forums and 4,321 Online Survey Respondents is 3 Virtual Open Discussion Forums and 4,221 Online Survey Respondents too many. I learned this first hand by attending some of the innumerable meetings, presentations, workshops, etc. that were held to discuss what the Big Dig parks should look like, especially the Wharf District Parks. All that those discussions, community input, editorials, op-eds, etc. led to was some unimaginative, mediocre, and underfunded parks.

By contrast, the Fan Pier parks didn't have so much publicity and fanfare and public participation as far as I'm aware, but managed to turn out better.

Object lesson: increasing presentations, participation, etc. by a factor of 1000 doesn't necessarily lead to a 1000 times better result. Just like sometimes less is more, sometimes less gets better results.
Actually, as the oldest public space in the original 13 Colonies it was "discovered" by the Puritans as a perfect grazing area for cattle. They came upon the Rev. Blackstone, who had built a home on the hill. He was a kind of hermit from England who settled in with the Native tribes. He graciously allowed the Puritans to use "his" land for their cattle. They drove the cows from the North End (originally English, then Irish, then Italian/Greek/Jewish) down "Trimount" (Tremont) Street to the Common, which had very few trees and lots of grazing land. Thus, it should be called "The Cow's Park" if you want to be really historical. The area was surmounted by three peaks: Mount Vernon, Pemberton Hill, and Beacon Hill. All three peaks were eventually torn down to create land for housing and the State House rear extension, and the Common itself was gradually planted with many trees and crisscrossed by walkways, finally being surrounded by cast iron fencing and gates in the Victorian era (which fencing was contributed to the 20th C war effort and eventually replaced with replicas (save for some of the gates...Tremont street side finally has replacement fences). Please note that until the Back Bay was filled in, Charles street was part of the Charles River. Soldiers would muster along that border of the Common. There's much more history about the Common (NEVER Commons) to be told and plenty of sources.
 

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