Chin Park Lighting Study Community Update Meeting

9, Oct, 2020

Thank you to those that attended our Chin Park Lighting Study Community Update Meeting on October 8, 2020. Taking place online via webinar with live Cantonese and Mandarin translation, the Greenway Conservancy provided an update on where we are in bringing enhanced lighting to Chinatown on The Greenway.

If you weren’t able to attend the meeting, please find below a full video recording. In addition, you can review presentation materials from the meeting.  

The Conservancy began the Chin Park Lighting Study in September of 2019. Yesterday’s update meeting follows our first Chin Park Lighting Community Meeting and online survey in February 2020 to solicit community feedback. Presentation materials from the February meeting can be found here.

Funding for the design work was provided by the Greenway Business Improvement District (BID); the Conservancy has successfully fundraised from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund and the Greenway BID for a first phase of lighting projects in 2021. 

The Conservancy has received community feedback throughout this process which has guided our project principles and design work. 

  • Safety: Some of the most consistent feedback we’ve heard, and one of the main motivations for doing this project, is to increase safety throughout Chin Park. In order to make every area of Chin Park safe and inviting, we will prioritize lighting projects in the darkest spaces in the park. 
  • Activity: We also heard from the community that we should focus lighting enhancement projects on the most densely and diversely used areas of the park, namely the plaza. We understand that the community would like to prioritize lighting enhancements to make the park feel more inviting, engaging, and festive.
  • Aesthetics: We heard a call for fixtures that are representative of the community. We see an opportunity to address this feedback within the Chinatown Viewing Garden with a unique, permanent, artist-inspired lighting infrastructure project. We will also ensure that planned lighting enhances and illuminates the existing ornate design elements of Chin Park and to ensure that existing cultural lighting elements are functioning properly. In addition, we will continue to experiment with temporary art and lighting installations. 
  • Greenery: We understand the community is focused on softening the space by implementing more horticulture and less hardscape, and is interested in more tree canopy for shade and air quality.

Based on this feedback, we are preliminarily planning to advance the following first phase projects in Spring 2021.

  • Adding light poles to the Serpentine Path. Poles will be installed along the eastern edge of the path, in the plant bed.
  • Replacing the existing and adding additional catenary lights to the south and east of the vent stack building in Mary Soo Hoo Park
  • Replacing existing and adding additional light poles and adding new catenary lights to the Plaza 
  • Upgrading LED strip lights on the Sampan Sail at the Essex Street Corner

The Conservancy has also identified additional projects that we hope to implement as soon as funding allows. 

  • Adding multi-fixture light poles at the Essex Street Corner 
  • Internally illuminating the contemporary gate at the Essex Street Corner with red LED lights
  • Internally illuminating the bamboo cages along the Serpentine Path
  • Run a design process for a community-inspired artistic lighting element to the Chinatown Viewing Garden 

Additionally, as part of the Chin Park Lighting Study, the Conservancy is reviving an idea to implement a new plant bed in the plaza area of Chin Park on The Greenway. This plant bed would add greenery and shade to the plaza, as well as additional seating near the PlayCubes. While providing a buffer from the busy street, this plant bed would not interfere with the many cultural festivals held in the plaza, and would provide additional seating for events. This idea was presented with a live poll at our October 8 meeting, and was met with overwhelming support from meeting attendees. 

Let us know what you think of a plant bed addition to the plaza in our online survey!

Looking forward to this winter, the Conservancy will continue construction documentation and fundraising, leading to the procurement of a contractor and materials. This spring, we hope to begin construction on our first phase of lighting improvements.