Harvard Allston Streetscape and Infrastructure Improvements
In 2006, Harvard University embarked upon planning for its campus expansion in the Allston neighborhood of Boston to accommodate the University’s anticipated growth over the next 50 years. Phase 1 of the Master Plan addresses the first 20 years of campus development.
The Allston Development Group selected Jacobs, Edwards and Kelcey, Inc., with CRJA-IBI Group to advance the design of streetscapes and transportation infrastructure proposed in the Institutional Master Plan. The transportation framework sets out guidelines and a vision for lively walkways, easy traffic flows, bicycle paths and shuttle/transit routes. Confirming Harvard’s commitment to sustainability, pedestrians and bicycles would have higher roadway priority than transit and automobiles, though all modes would be well-accommodated. The project’s goal is to create an accessible, engaging, and continuous public realm, of which the streets are a critical part, allowing the Allston campus to connect seamlessly to the Cambridge campus, while respecting the adjacent Allston residential community.
The Jacobs/CRJA-IBI Group team prepared a detailed assessment of the master plan and made recommendations for implementing streetscape, public realm, and transportation components. Opportunities to improve existing connections with the existing Harvard campus across the Charles River were evaluated, and new strategies for going both over and under the Charles River were studied. The placemaking potential of the river area itself was explored as it would, ultimately, become the physical center of the joined campuses. The team developed preliminary studies of the potential for modification/expansion of both the Anderson Bridge and the Weeks pedestrian bridge, as well as studies of crossing Soldiers Field Road. The team also prepared detailed designs of the streetscape and infrastructure needed to support the opening of the Harvard Allston Science Complex facility in 2011.