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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

This project has been completed. No further updates will be made to this project page. For more information about the new East Cambridge parks, please click here to visit the project page. 

The City, through the Community Development Department, conducted the public Eastern Cambridge/Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Study process to explore ways to integrate planned new open 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 built 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.

In order to further promote creativity and innovative ideas during this exciting process, the Community Development Department sponsored a planning and design competition to develop a comprehensive open space framework plan for the area. The Connect Kendall Square Open Space Competition attracted a wide range of planning and design firms and encouraged new thinking regarding not only open space design but also the overall public realm, connections, programming, and place making.

The resulting Framework Plan is the culmination of an innovative process that generated creative ideas and strategies on creating a sense of place in the Kendall Square area, and to better connect Kendall Square to surrounding neighborhoods. The framework plan will guide the design process for each individual open space location and serve as a means of informing the character and role of both public and private open spaces in the area.



This project has been completed. No further updates will be made to this project page.

The City will be developing three new parks in eastern Cambridge, guided by the ECKOS Study and Connect Kendall Square Competition. Click here for more information about the park projects.

Connect Kendall Square Framework Plan

The Connect Kendall Square Framework Plan is now available for viewing online. The plan is the culmination of an innovative process that generated creative ideas and strategies on creating a sense of place in the Kendall Square area, and to better connect Kendall Square to surrounding neighborhoods. The framework plan will serve as a means of informing park designs and the character and role of both public and private open spaces in the area.

Click here to view the Framework Plan.

Study Committee Meeting

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee held a meeting on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 7:30 P. M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue. All committee meetings are open to the public.

Connect Kendall Square Competition Winner Selected

The City of Cambridge is pleased to announce the selection of Somerville based Richard Burck Associates as the winner of the Connect Kendall Square Open Space Planning Competition. Richard Burck Associates was chosen by a six member jury after the culmination of a three stage process spanning eight months.

More information about the Jury’s evaluation and selection is available in the Jury Report.

Team Presentations to Jury

The four Connect Kendall Square finalist teams presented their framework plans to the competition jury on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 and Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd floor meeting room. The presentation schedule was:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

1:00 P. M. to 2:30 P. M. SITELAB urban studio
3:00 P. M. to 4:30 P. M. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

8:30 A. M. to 10:00 A. M. Richard Burck Associates
10:30 A. M. to Noon Framework Cultural Placemaking

The presentations were recorded by 22-CityView and available for viewing online. Click on the Competition Submissions tab for links to videos of the presentations.

Study Committee Meeting

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee held a meeting on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 5:30 P. M. at the Cambridge Community Development Department, 344 Broadway, second floor conference room. All committee meetings are open to the public.

Meet Your Teams Night

The City with the Eastern Cambridge / Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Study Committee hosted 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 was 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 available for viewing in the Connect Kendall Square Open Space Competition tab.

Study Committee Meeting

The Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Committee held a 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:

  • 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

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 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.

Connect Kendall Square Competition Documents

Competition Background

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

The City 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 worked closely with the Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Planning Committee over several months and throughout the planning and competition process. The competition process included 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 four finalist teams selected to participate in Stage III of the Connect Kendall Square Open Space Planning Competition developed planning and design frameworks for open space in Kendall Square and Eastern Cambridge. The competition jury evaluated the submittals based on the Project Vision and Planning and Design Goals created by the Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Study Committee.

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.

Connect Kendall Square Open Space Planning Competition Submissions

The four finalist teams selected to participate in Stage III of the Connect Kendall Square Open Space Planning Competition developed planning and design frameworks for open space in Kendall Square and Eastern Cambridge. The competition jury evaluated the submittals based on the Project Vision and Planning and Design Goals created by the Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Study Committee. After a three-stage process spanning eight months, the six-member jury chose the framework plan by Richard Burck Associates as the winning submission. Click here to view the jury report.

Following the competition, the City will work with the ECKOS Study Committee and the selected team to refine their plan, potentially incorporating desired elements from other proposed framework plans. The final plan will be used to guide the design of the new public open spaces and provide a framework for review of future public and private open space, as well as programming, placemaking, and connectivity.


Richard Burck Associates

Richard Burck Associates - Connect Kendall Square Competition Public Exhibition

View Framework Plan | Exhibition Boards | Summary Boards | Presentation to Jury


Framework Cultural Placemaking

Framework Cultural Placemaking - Connect Kendall Square Competition Public Exhibition

View Framework Plan | Exhibition Boards | Summary Boards | Presentation to Jury


Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. - Connect Kendall Square Competition Public Exhibition

View Framework Plan | Exhibition Boards | Summary Boards | Presentation to Jury


SITELAB urban studio

SITELAB urban studio - Connect Kendall Square Competition Public Exhibition

View Framework Plan | Exhibition Boards | Summary Boards | Presentation to Jury

For more information, please contact Gary Chan at 617/349-4603 or by email at gchan@cambridgema.gov.