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Eastern Cambridge/Kendall Square Open Space Study

New Open Space in the Vicinity of Kendall Square
Open Space Study Area Map

Planning and Design Competition is Now Online at
Connect Kendall Square!

Over the past several decades, Kendall Square has transformed from a former industrial area into a world renowned center of biotech, high tech research, and innovative companies. As the area continues to evolve, the City has worked to create a vision for future growth through the Kendall Square Central Square (K2C2) Planning Study.

The K2C2 study process reinforced the notion that an integrated, well managed and programmed network of public and private open spaces that serve a variety of users and provide a range of experiences and environments is a key element in creating a sense of place and community in Kendall Square.

Over 5 acres of new and renovated public open space will be created, primarily at four locations, in the vicinity of Kendall Square in Eastern Cambridge.

  1. Rogers Street between Second and Third Streets
  2. Triangle parcel at Land Boulevard and First Street
  3. Galileo Way between Broadway and Binney Street
  4. Point Park at Main Street and Broadway

The City, through the Community Development Department, has begun a public process to explore ways to integrate these new spaces into the existing open space system in Kendall Square and eastern Cambridge and provide a network of well connected, managed and programmed parks and open spaces that serve a variety of users, and provide a range of experiences and environments.

This process will build on the vision and concepts that were established by the Kendall Square Advisory Committee as part of the Kendall Square Central Square (K2C2) Planning Study and will help determine the character and role of both existing and proposed open spaces in the area. Recommendations produced at the completion of this study will guide the design process for each individual open space location.


Meet Your Teams Night

The City with the Eastern Cambridge / Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Study Committee is hosting a Meet Your Teams Night on Thursday, October 30, 2014 from 5:30 P. M. to 8:00 P. M. at the Broad Institute Auditorium and Lobby, 415 Main Street. This will be an opportunity to learn more about the competition process and hear from each of the finalists about their experience and inspiration to approaching the framework plan to Connect Kendall Square. 

For more information please contact Taha Jennings at 617/349-4302 or by email at tjennings@cambridgema.gov

Competition Launch

The planning and design competition manual, describing the process and schedule, is now online at Connect Kendall Square.

Study Committee Meeting

There will be an Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee meeting on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 5:30 P. M. at Alexandria Real Estate, 400 Technology Square (off of Main Street), Suite 101.  All committee meetings are open to the public.

Public Meeting

A community meeting was held on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 5:30 P. M. at the Kendall Marriott Hotel and was an opportunity for attendees to share thoughts about open space in the area as well as to learn about the upcoming open space planning competition sponsored by the City of Cambridge.

Study Committee Meeting

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee held a committee meeting on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at 5:30 P. M. in the first floor Community Room of the Cambridge Police Department, 125 Sixth Street.  All committee meetings are open to the public.

Study Committee Meeting

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee held a committee meeting on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 5:30 P. M. in the first floor Community Room of the Cambridge Police Department, 125 Sixth Street.  All committee meetings are open to the public.

Study Committee Meeting

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee held a committee meeting on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 5:30 P. M. in the first floor Community Room of the Cambridge Police Department, 125 Sixth Street.  All committee meetings are open to the public. 

Second Open Space Walking Tour

A second Kendall Square open space walking tour was conducted on Monday, October 21, 2013. 

Study Committee Meeting

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee held a committee meeting on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 5:30 P. M. in the first floor Community Room of the Cambridge Police Department, 125 Sixth Street.  All committee meetings are open to the public. 

Study Committee Meeting

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee held a committee meeting on Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 5:30 P. M. in the First Floor Community Room of the Cambridge Police Department, 125 Sixth Street. All committee meetings are open to the public.

Open Space Walking Tour

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee conducted a walking tour of open spaces in Kendall Square on Monday, June 24, at 5:30 P. M.   

Study Committee Meeting

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee held a committee meeting on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 5:30 P. M. in the first floor community room at the Cambridge Police Department, 125 Sixth Street.  All committee meetings are open to the public.  The next committee meeting will be scheduled shortly.   

Study Committee

A City Manager appointed Open Space Planning Study Committee for Eastern Cambridge and Kendall Square will work with the larger community, city staff, and consultants to plan for the network of open spaces in the area.

Telephone Survey

A telephone survey was conducted during Summer 2012 to help inform future improvements to open space in Kendall Square and surrounding neighborhoods including the planning and design of the new and renovated open spaces at the four locations listed above. The survey was a randomized telephone survey of residential households within approximately ½ mile from Kendall Square.

Over 5 acres of new and renovated public open space will be created, primarily at four locations, in the vicinity of Kendall Square in Eastern Cambridge. This provides a unique opportunity to plan and implement a comprehensive vision for new public spaces, programming and features for the area. Creative ideas and innovative thinking regarding open space in Kendall Square will help to address challenges and pressures that can accompany the addition of new businesses, employees, and residents.

Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee Members

  • Alexandra Lee
  • Carole Bellew
  • Charlie Marquardt
  • Christine Dunn
  • Christopher Perkins
  • Conrad Crawford
  • Daniel Norman
  • David Small
  • Lara Gordon
  • Michelle Lower
  • Patrick Magee
  • Rose Billeci
  • Sam Valentine
  • Sujit Sitole
  • Susan Morgan
  • Thayer Donham
  • Victoria Farr

Information about the planning and design competition is now online at Connect Kendall Square.

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square open space study is a unique opportunity to plan and implement a vision for the entire open space network in Kendall Square and vicinity.

In order to further promote creativity and innovative ideas during this exciting process, the Community Development Department will be overseeing a planning and design competition to develop a comprehensive open space plan for the area. The competition is intended to help attract a wide range of planning and design firms and to encourage new thinking regarding not only open space design but also the overall public realm, connections, programming, and place making.

The City has recently hired STASTNY: Architect to serve as the competition coordinator for the Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square open space planning and design competition. The principal of the firm, Donald J. Stastny, has over three decades of experience working on complex open space issues, and has managed over 46 national and international design competitions, including the National Mall in Washington D.C. Don and his team will be working very closely with the Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Planning Committee over the next several months and throughout the planning and competition process. The competition process will include the creation of a competition manual; the establishment of a competition jury; outreach to a wide range of local, national and international planning and design firms; and extensive public involvement at every stage. The final result will be a comprehensive open space network plan (or plans) for Kendall Square and Eastern Cambridge that will be used to facilitate the creation of exceptional, visionary open spaces, further promote the innovative character of the area, and help create a sense of place and community. The plan will also help determine the character and role of the new public open spaces in the area, which will be designed as part of separate, subsequent processes.

The four finalist teams selected to participate in Stage III of the Connect Kendall Square Open Space Planning Competition will develop a planning and design framework for open space in Kendall Square and Eastern Cambridge.  The competition jury will evaluate the submittals based on the Project Vision and Planning and Design Goals created by the Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Study Committee.


Project Vision

Kendall Square and Eastern Cambridge should be a destination, where the main attraction is the area itself, rather than employment, transit or any one particular building, space, structure, or event. Its identity is defined just as much by quality experiences, as it is by physical attributes, and geographic location.

The public realm is a critical link between the growing industries in Kendall Square and the surrounding community, and represents a special opportunity for new types of interaction. The public realm should feel inviting and connected, and reflect both the innovative character of activities that happen within buildings and the open space needs of the existing and emerging community of residents, employees, and visitors. The public realm should be guided by a comprehensive framework that integrates common elements and features such as the history of the area, interactive public art and the significance of water in the area, and particularly the Charles River, which is a key contextual component of the open space system.

Open space in the area should include a range of unique experiences including different levels of interaction, gathering and community events, recreational opportunities, nature, water, public art, and history. There should also be a range of physical environments including revealing landscapes and views, natural features, paths and promenades, quiet reflective spaces, innovative parks and open spaces and vibrant, lively areas. New and existing open spaces should facilitate expanded programming hours for community events and gatherings, particularly after typical work hours and on evenings and weekends.

Creative wayfinding tools should be used to connect open spaces within the public realm, including to better connect the Charles River to the area, both figuratively as well as through potential streetscape improvements. All connections should be safe, accessible and pedestrian and bicycle friendly.


Planning and Design Goals

  1. DETERMINE A COHESIVE FRAMEWORK: Tie together existing and future open spaces throughout the Kendall Square/Eastern Cambridge area and provide connections to the Charles River. Define the relationship between public and private open spaces, the programmatic diversity to serve the evolving nature of the area, and the connectivity between each facility—enabling a systemic approach to open space design and creating a city-wide asset.
  2. PROVIDE INCREMENTAL FLEXIBILITY: Recognize the changing needs and demands placed upon open spaces through programming and design that offer flexibility in use and evolution over time. Flexibility in use requires consideration of demands placed on spaces by adjacent uses, and that each open space does not have to provide everything in a singular location. 
  3. PROMOTE COMPLEMENTARY UNIQUENESS: Identify the role that new public open spaces to be developed in the near future will play in promoting community gathering, recreational opportunities, healthy lifestyles, and a better quality of urban life. Each open space should be recognized as an individual facility as well as a contributing part of the open space network.
  4. CONNECT PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPACES: Develop strategies for how future public and private open spaces will be integrated into the open space network over time as redevelopment plans are carried out. Provide guidelines that will allow future open spaces to best complement and enhance existing spaces in their design and function.
  5. ESTABLISH ACTIVATION STRATEGIES: Establish programming and activation strategies that support the daily use of open space venues. Consider the rhythms of the day, seasons of the year, and extended use.
  6. CELEBRATE COMMUNITY INCLUSIVITY: Consider concepts and access features that will be inclusive of community members from a wide variety of backgrounds, including residents, workers and visitors, of all ages and of differing levels of physical and cognitive ability.
  7. INTEGRATE SAFETY, OPERATIONS, AND MAINTENANCE: Consider security, safety, and operational facilitation as essential issues to be incorporated in the Framework and open space programming and design.
  8. CREATE A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: Promote sustainable design and operation of open spaces—economically, culturally, and environmentally.
  9. BUILD AN IDENTITY: Celebrate the uniqueness of the Kendall Square/Eastern Cambridge area through signage and way finding, public art, historic interpretation, and identity as a center of innovation.
  10. ELEVATE THE USER EXPERIENCE: Create a rich experience for users based on the quality of open spaces and programming to promote social and cultural well being.

For more information and to be added to a mailing list for the process, please contact Taha Jennings at 617/349-4302 or by email at tjennings@cambridgema.gov.