- Developer:Massachusetts Departments of Transportation (MassDOT)
- Operator/Programming:National Development
- Pathway Graphics:Visual Dialogue
- Mural Curator:Street Theory
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. Infra-Space 1 is the pilot project of a state-wide Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) led study to revitalize landscapes under elevated highway viaducts. Such under-viaduct areas commonly have detrimental characteristics, being inaccessible, foreboding, dark, loud, and interrupting the urban fabric. The goal of the project was to repair those breaks by introducing multi-modal connections and increase safety and comfort through new uses and lighting. The project incorporates significant environmental improvements by turning the under-highway landscapes into green stormwater infrastructure to treat the vast amounts of runoff from the highway that would otherwise contaminate local waterways. Maintenance areas for structural inspections double-function as public programming areas.
As a transit oriented public agency, MassDOT constructs and maintains public roads, highways, viaducts, and transit infrastructure. While this initiative creates new positive public spaces, MassDOT cannot simply build ‘parks’. As such, the full design of Infra-Space 1 aims to re-organize and re-purpose transportation infrastructure material and design standards in novel ways to shape a more beneficial public realm, where: Multi-modal paths (mobility infrastructure) + Stormwater management landscapes (environmental infrastructure) + Lighting (Safety Infrastructure) = Quality urban realm & public access landscape (akin to a ‘Park’).
This program also uses an innovative financing model. While construction was funded by the state transportation agency, the investment is recovered through revenue from parking facilities located in lower-clearance, lower-light areas of the viaduct. Stormwater management and public access areas are on the other hand located where there are more light and space to support them.