Are we sure we are alone in the city? How do animals live? An experiment of coexistence and biodiversity in the Boston Bay.
international competition: mentioned project - 2009
The city can once again become a space inhabited by animals. A livable city also depends on its ability to integrate and understand the forms of life complementary to human beings.
A large dam divides the Fourth Point Channel into two parts. First, it is a device to define the channel geometrically, creating two new basins. The first basin is large and is used by commercial vessels. The second is smaller and is reserved for port boats, tourism and sports activities. The dam functions as a large environmental machine and characterizes the two basins. At the base there is a pump system that pushes the sea water from the large channel into the dam, where certain botanical species eliminate pollutants, through a system based on the principle of evapotranspiration. Subsequently, clean water is released into the small canal, where there are aquatic animals (molluscs, shells, anemones, algae), several harbor boats and various sports are allowed.
Secondly, the dam is inhabited. It hides a large corridor that reproduces the habitat of the Boston Harbor islands. The new dam is an outstanding point in the natural spaces of the Boston Bay. It makes a pragmatic contribution to the environmental network, in particular for the air animals that cross the sky of the Boston bay, which is one of the richest urban spaces in the United States from a wildlife point of view. Then, the dam is a public space. At certain times of the year or of the day it is open to the public, to tourists and to interested persons.
The dam integrates effectively with some tourist areas of the context, such as the Children’s Museum in front of it. From the existing bridges, citizens reach the dam along its borders, where there is a walk that allows pedestrians, watching both water and animals, to hear the sounds and appreciate the skyline of the city from a new point of view . Thus a new perception of an extreme and peculiar experience will grow. Land animals are a species of those present in the dam. Only some of them (Sciurus carolinensis, Mephitis mephitis, Peromyscus leucopus, Plethodon cinereus, Emydoidea blandingii, Chelydra serpentina) can be housed permanently, thanks to their characteristics of adaptability to the local environment. Others may live in the dam in the medium or long term, under the supervision of researchers and specialized centers from local universities.