Industrial waterfronts across the globe face challenges from the impending rise in sea levels and increased coastal inundation. These typically low-lying, impermeable lands support global networks and serve regional interests, yet often separate surrounding communities from the water. Nowhere in Greater Boston is this dynamic more apparent than the city of Everett, located along the Mystic River. An entire third of the city’s land is industrial, largely occupied by a liquid natural gas plant and a neighboring power plant, both of which are heavily relied upon for their services within New England. The residential portion is one of the densest in the country, and has open space that fulfills only a quarter of national standards. Physical and political barriers exist that sever the city, creating numerous thresholds of security and belonging.
This project explores how the development of new ecological infrastructure can serve as the connective tissue that transforms new defenses against flooding into a public asset, as well as a safeguard to valuable working waterfronts. This investigation studies a variety of constructed topographies designed to retain, buffer, divert and avoid water, creating diverse passive, active, and productive programmatic opportunities. The result is a catalyst for regional resilience, one that acknowledges and protects Everett’s role in New England’s industry while providing its citizens a network of open space and a unified city.