Birch Street Plaza: Pop-up to Permanent

Birch Street Plaza Pop-up to Permanent

Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS), the City of Boston, A Better City, business owners, and other community partners came together  to transform Birch Street in Roslindale into a street for people. This spring, we began work with a landscape architecture firm, Merritt Chase, on the design of the project. Based on the community’s and businesses’ input, the “Birch Forest” concept was selected. This design included trees, planters with seating, and movable chairs.

In early May, Merritt Chase tested the design concept on the street as part of a week-long pop-up event to speak directly to community members and business owners. This pop-up plaza acted as an experiential community meeting where business owners, residents, and visitors could give feedback directly to the City, RVMS volunteers, and the architects. On the weekend, there were games for young people, a street fair, and live music. The response from everyone was overwhelmingly positive.  We collected a total of 238 surveys and 80% were in support of the project.

This summer we will be going through the City of Boston’s approval process to review the final design. Our plan is to work with the City to implement a 1-3 year semi-permanent pilot plaza within a year of this pop-up to be installed sometime between Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.

Project Timeline

  • Open Birch Street event (4 separate one-day Saturday events): Summer 2018
  • Holiday Market on Birch St. (1 weekday evening event): December 2018
  • Pop-up Plaza (1 week): April 29th to May 5th
  • Design process: Winter:  Spring 2019
  • City approval process: Summer 2019
  • Plaza installation: By Spring 2020

Project Team

  • Roslindale Village Main Street
  • Birch Street and abutting business owners
  • City of Boston
  • Merrett Chase
  • A Better City

Questions / Comments?

If you have questions or comments about this tactical public realm project, please email the City of Boston’s Public Realm Director Jacob Wessel at jacob.wessel@boston.gov.