Institutions, November 2014, Bridge


kendall congeneration station from longfellow bridge (sonya kovacic)

kendall congeneration station from longfellow bridge (sonya kovacic)

The city of Boston has a "Greenovate Boston" goal of reducing Boston's greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. One solution is using steam produced from making electricity, to power heating and cooling devices through underground pipes. It is referred to as Green Steam. Veolia North America bought the Kendall Station power plant and has invested $168 million total into the Boston-Cambridge district energy network; including a 7,000-foot steam pipeline extension. It is predicted to reduce 475,000 tons of carbon per year, equivalent to removing 80,000 cars from the roads.

Although Kendall Station is the main power and steam plant, Veolia also has steam plants in Back Bay and Chinatown, as well as maintains and operates Longwood's MATEP (total energy facility and micro-grid).

According to Veolia, their customers include 250 commercial, healthcare, government, institutional and hospitality customers occupying 44 million square feet of building space within the central business district of Boston:

major hospitals (and in Boston, Veolia serves every major one),
biotech R&D facilities
data centers
office towers (including 70 percent of Boston's high-rise buildings)
colleges and universities
New England Aquarium
Faneuil Hall
City Hall
Holocaust Memorial
Prudential Building

To see a map of Veolia's energy network, click  here.

The Boston Globe created an infographic to explain the steam process. 

Jamaica Plain, Brookline, Institutions, Bridge, November 2014


waiting for the 66 under the jamaicaway overpass (sonya kovacic)

waiting for the 66 under the jamaicaway overpass (sonya kovacic)

"Parkways are an integral part of Olmsted’s design of the Emerald Necklace. Originally laid out as carriage roads, the parkways were intended as pleasure routes following the meanderings of the Muddy River, connecting the parks from the Back Bay Fens in the heart of the city to the more rural Franklin Park. Although the parkways have become major commuter routes, they continue to provide scenic glimpses into the parks and a more verdant experience for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians."

-Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Jamaicaway is a four lane parkway in Jamaica Plain, connecting the Riverway and Arborway parkways. The parkway has become a popular route for cars and its windy and narrow roads have caused many accidents.

The Jamaicaway overpass was constructed as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1934 (part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal). On the night of its opening, in August 1936, heavy rain caused damage, and the overpass was closed for repairs until the spring of 1938.

The Jamaicaway Towers and Town Houses is a 30 foot residential building that stands out in the JP landscape. Constructed in the 1960's, it was controversial at the time. Read the Jamaica Plain Gazette story and see a couple of before and after photos.

Allston, Bridge, September 2014, Brighton


the mass pike, looking west (sonya kovacic)

the mass pike, looking west (sonya kovacic)

Route 90 is the longest interstate highway in the country, stretching over 3,100 miles from Logan Airport to Seattle, Washington.

The Massachusetts portion (the Massachusetts Turnpike) takes a little over 2 hours to drive. Almost this same route was made over 200 years ago on foot, during the Revolutionary War. George Washington commissioned Colonel Henry Knox to retrieve 108 cannons from captured British forts in Upstate New York. The brigade spent the winter carrying the cannons back east (including over frozen rivers) to assist the Continental Army in Boston.

The trail has since been named the Henry Knox Trail.

(If you've ever wondered how the Interstate highways get their numbers: west-east highways are even-numbered, and increase in number as you go north. North-south highways are odd-numbered, and increase in number as you go east. Consequently, Boston's major interstates are two of the highest in the country: I-90 and I-95.)

Last month, Slate tried explaining the most confusing sign on the Turnpike.