Tuesday, December 7, 2010

City Hosts Public Symposium on Greening Government Center

Residents invited to share vision for the future of Government Center Thursday, December 9th at Copley Library

The City of Boston and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hosted a public symposium to discuss creative ideas for greening Government Center. The symposium follows the announcement in September 2010 of Boston’s selection as one of five capital cities to participate in the Greening America’s Capitals Program and aims to foster a collaborative discussion surrounding the vision for Government Center.

“As one of the nation’s leading green cities, Boston continues to look for ways to make our buildings and public spaces more sustainable and environmentally friendly,” said Mayor Menino. “The Greening America’s Capitals project is an exciting opportunity for residents to join architects and environmental experts to develop a creative and innovative vision for the future of Government Center.”

The symposium, held on December 9th from 4-7pm at the Copley library, served as the first chance for the public to share ideas with a panel of creative design and architectural experts who will present their visions on how the City of Boston and EPA can work to create realistic greening options for the area. The panel was moderated by Ted Landsmark, President of the Boston Architectural College (BAC).

The work to green Government Center will be funded through the EPA’s innovative new project, Greening America’s Capitals, which is a partnership between the EPA, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the US Department of Transportation (DOT). Boston was selected from a total of 38 cities vying for design assistance from the EPA. The City was chosen after demonstrating high quality green community development practices to create interesting, unique neighborhoods with multiple social, economic, environmental and public health benefits.

Since the announcement of Boston’s selection as one of the 5 cities to receive this special assistance, the City has been working with EPA to organize teams of urban planners and landscape architects to help formulate the redesign and greening of government center. The Boston-based firm, Utile Inc., has been selected to lead a design Charrette in mid-December to begin the creative and innovative process to facilitate the vision for Government Center.

The symposium on December 9th at the Boston Public Library, Copley Branch in the BPL’s Rabb Lecture Hall was free and open to the public. The panel of design and architectural experts was moderated by BAC President Ted Landsmark and will include nationally renown panelists:

• Alex Krieger, Principal, Chan Krieger NBBJ

• Janet Marie Smith, Vice President of Planning and Development, Baltimore Orioles

• Bob Fox, Partner, Cook+Fox Architects

• Chris Reed, Principal, Stoss Landscape Urbanism

• Matthias Rudolph, Assisting Director, Transsolar, Inc