Green spaces need boost of city clout


Guest writer Renata von Tscharner, The Boston Globe

ERIC MOSKOWITZ’S July 4 article about the Esplanade and the Rose Kennedy Greenway (“The Greening of Boston,” Page A1) made an interesting point that places evolve over time. But the major challenge with planning these urban parks is that they are owned and managed by the state — the Department of Conservation Resources in the case of the Esplanade, and the Transportation Department in the case of the Greenway. These are fine state agencies, but the parks need the leverage that only a city has.

Since it is the cities, Boston and Cambridge, that have the power to issue permits, these municipalities need a strong role to provide linkages that benefit these important green spaces. For example, Cambridge has started to develop a riverfront plan for the parklands along the Charles. This is an initiative worth copying. The same approach is needed for the Esplanade to make the current planning effort successful. And in Herter Park in Allston-Brighton, the DCR- owned parklands should be part of the planning process for Boston and Harvard.

We have green spaces in great locations. Now we need to find the mechanisms to make them great.

Renata von Tscharner,

Founder and president Charles River Conservancy Cambridge

© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.

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