CBA is proud to announce that Deanna Cremin Playground in Somerville was awarded the 2018 Northeast Hardscape Award of Excellence in its category, Non-Residential Project Over $200,000! The judges' comments highlighted the project's overall creative approach, the permeable paving and sustainability focus, and the careful craftsmanship in design, detailing, and construction. Our thanks to the NECMA and the judging panel for the recognition, and to the rest of the project team, from the City and the contractor (NELM Corp) to the product reps we worked with, for a job well executed.
Jessica Choi, Landscape Designer, attended the December 7th Unilock New England Annual Awards of Excellence event and received the Commercial Excellence in Design Award for CBA's Sidney Research Campus in Cambridge. This project was nominated for this award by Daniel Neviackas, the New England rep for Unilock Pavers. This public-private plaza features a 3 color linear paving design, as well as creative site features such as ping pong tables and custom wall mounted benches. CBA is very proud of how this project turned out.
The Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston (BRAGB) has awarded a PRISM award to The Lanterns, a multifamily residential project developed by The Green Company, for which CBA Landscape Architects, LLC designed the landscape. The award is for "Best Multi Unit for Sale Community: Detached Homes." DJ Chagnon was the Principal in Charge and the landscape was completed in early 2017.
The PRISM awards can be viewed here: http://online.anyflip.com/jggq/aume/mobile/index.html#p=97
Clara Batchelor, founding principal at CBA Landscape Architects, LLC, assembled and will be presenting on a panel entitled Public Parks on Private Land at ABX/Greenbuild 2017 in Boston this November 8th (ABX runs from Nov. 8-10). Clara is collaborating with Sal Zinno of Biomed Reality and Jim Batchelor of Arrowstreet Architects on the panel. An abbreviated abstract is below.
A growing industry for high-tech and life-sciences start-ups is creating a demand for new development in mixed-use areas in Cambridge and Boston. As part of development agreements, owners are being required to provide public amenities often in the form of public open space. These quasi public parks and plazas need to serve both the tenants and the neighborhood residents. The panel will discuss successful strategies for designing such dual purpose spaces where the desire is to create vibrant outdoor spaces that serve those who work and/or live in the area. In this panel discussion, a multidisciplinary team will present three projects located in the Cambridgeport and Kendall Square neighborhoods to illustrate the seamless integration of public urban parks on privately-owned land and the mutually beneficial relationship between the two.
More Information on the ABX/Greenbuild conference and this particular panel can be found here: http://abexpo.com/Attendee/Schedule/SessionDetails/45066
"The Dad Who Visited 350 Local Parks says These 7 Will Thrill Your Kids" is the title of a recent Boston.com that mentions Paris Street Playground in East Boston as one of those 7 parks.
CBA designed the renovation of Paris Street Playground in East Boston in 2015.
CBA has had the opportunity to work on the design of several dog parks in the last year, and Preston Holleman from our office has been the project manager for both the Mystic Overlook Dog Park in Chelsea and the Bellingham Dog Park. While the parks' contexts are very different (urban and densely populated versus suburban and bordering conservation land), a standout function of each space will be as a point of gathering for local residents. During the research phase of these projects, Preston visited existing dog parks in Somerville, Chelmsford, Cambridge, and Poulsbo, WA to talk to users of the the spaces to collect data about their use of the park and analyze the success of fencing, surface, and edging materials.
During these conversations, Preston noted that dog ownership and care are based on routine. The same group of community members will consistently use a dog park at similar times, and continued interactions with the same people provides opportunities for relationships to evolve. Similar to other municipal parks, dog parks will often develop a formal community group that monitors and contributes additional effort to care for the dog park. For example, Preston learned that in some dog parks, owners leave toys and water bowls at the site for other dogs to play with and share.
The continuous need for a dog to exercise and socialize draws out group members more often and consistently than a park that is used for passive recreation. In some cases, dog park community groups may even be more active than those formed around traditional parks. Dog park advocacy is particularly strong in dense urban areas where open space is at a premium - CBA frequently interacts with dog owners during the public input process for many of our traditional park projects.
Studies have shown that the more a resident knows their neighbors, the more invested they are in their community. Neighborhoods with a strong social fabric see reductions in crime, vandalism, and neglect as well as increases in happiness, social activism, community involvement and quality of life. Recurring interactions such as those that happen at neighborhood dog parks strengthens local social networks. Preston's conversations with community members at each park had a common theme: people get know their neighbors that have dogs.
How do we tighten the mesh of a neighborhood's social fabric? The design of dog parks is a small part of local networks that can have an enormous impact. Seating areas in these parks facilitate human interaction. Obstacles for agility training and games for dogs provide the opportunity for dog owners to converse and learn from each other. In recognizing the social benefits of dog parks, we as designers have an opportunity to create environments that foster and facilitate the development of human connections.