• Esplanade Park What EA Does

Esplanade 2020 A Vision for the Future

The Esplanade 2020 Final Report contains guiding principles and clearly defined objectives for the park’s future. It illustrates how these principles, consistently applied, can transform Boston’s waterside park into one of the world’s great urban outdoor spaces. With your help, we can make it happen.

Read the full Esplanade 2020 report

Watch the Esplanade 2020 Presentation:


In 2009 the Esplanade Association (EA) initiated Esplanade 2020 A Vision for the Future in collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). In 2010, EA assembled a team of leading Boston design and planning specialists to take a fresh look at every element of the park.

The 2020 Committee held more than a dozen meetings with the general public, individual stakeholders, business and community groups. Their input helped the committee establish guiding principles, create a vision statement, and define objectives. Esplanade 2020 illustrates ways in which these core principles, consistently applied, can transform Boston’s waterside park into one of the world’s great urban outdoor spaces.

Guiding Principles

All of the recommendations put forth in Esplanade 2020 for the park landscape, access and circulation, activities and supporting facilities, and identity, abide by these five guiding principles:

1) Reinforce the park’s traditions

Enhance and restore the core design of the park. Continue to develop ways in which the land and the water work best together and enhance the Esplanade experience. Preserve and restore the best historic settings, buildings, and sites. Ensure that new park structures complement the land.

2) Reclaim as much parkland as possible

Over the years the Esplanade has lost land to highway construction and particular interests that have taken possession of significant tracts of parkland. Esplanade 2020 aims to reclaim parkland paved over to accommodate traffic and to regain as much previously public open space as possible.

3) Make the park sustainable and maintainable

The Esplanade’s landscape and structures need to be built sustainably and strategically maintained by knowledgeable and trained staff. Establish guidelines and standards to maintain the highest quality of design, construction, and restoration for the park.

4) Make the park readily accessible

The park needs to be accessible in the broadest sense: easily reached from different points across the city and universally accessible to people of every physical ability level. This would include better pedestrian and bicycle access and strategic wayfinding, both within and outside the park.

5) Provide modern facilities for modern uses throughout the year

Upgrade the Esplanade to accommodate 21st-century activities and uses that cater to all people. Any new facility and setting should represent the best designs of its era, while insuring the broadest range of year-round uses possible.

Esplanade 2020 Committee

We would like to thank the Esplanade 2020 Committee for their efforts to make life better on the Esplanade.
David Black
Frank Costantino
Mark Favermann
Antonio Gomes
Craig C. Halvorson
Anthony Pangaro
John Shields
John Stebbins
Florrie Wescoat
Steve Wolf

What EA Does
improve park use, aesthetics, and safety
Park Care
restore and enhance the park’s landscape
enrich, connect and promote park stewardship
help protect and improve the park