History

This project started in 1998 to take advantage of Boston's plans to create the first new neighborhood in 150 years: the South Boston Waterfront. Over 1000 acres of underused land bordering the Boston Harbor had been transformed by the investment of over $6 billion in public funds to clean what had been America's dirtiest harbor, to eliminate an elevated roadway that had separated the area from downtown, to create a multi-faceted transportation infrastructure and build a new $800M Convention Center. The Institute for Human Centered Design is located at the edge of the area. It was a perfect opportunity to integrate universal design into the planning and the public and private development decisions that would shape this new place. With primary support from The Boston Foundation, the Institute for Human Centered Design has been able to secure commitments to universal design in plans, in design guidelines, in individual proposals for development and in public space.