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Placemaking Project: Greenway Carousel, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston

The Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance recognizes placemaking initiatives across the Commonwealth. This project is one of many that were featured at our 2013 conference. See other placemaking examples

On Labor Day weekend, after three years of planning, design, fabrication and installation, the one-of-a-kind Greenway Carousel opened to the public. This project combines vibrant horticulture, seating, shade and other site amenities with a playful and dynamic attraction and has transformed an underutilized plaza and ancillary open space into a hub of activity. The carousel includes 14 different animals native to the land, sea, and air of Massachusetts, all of which were inspired by the imaginations and drawings of Boston public school children. These characters were brought to life by Massachusetts based sculptor Jeff Briggs and now appear to prance, swoosh and splash as they rotate round in their fanciful poses to the delight of children and adults.

The carousel is set in a landscape designed in partnership with Reed Hilderbrand Associates to provide an enveloping and inviting environment, buffered from the noise and visual distractions of street activities.

The signature element of the landscape design is a grove of urban-hearty trees – a site treatment used widely in carousel parks throughout Europe. In addition, the Carousel will be surrounded by a robust garden perimeter, new circulation paths, family friendly chairs, tables and shade umbrellas, bike racks, foodvending, and a granite wall with Mahogany inlayed seating.

Contact: Laura Jasinski, Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy,