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Setting the Stage

  • COST

    Free and open to the public

Join a conversation on the current state of the Columbia Road corridor and its promise for the future of the Emerald Necklace.

How does this roadway serve and hinder the needs of the local community? How does it facilitate or impede the flow of people, both towards the harbor and towards residential neighborhoods? What are the opportunities it can fulfill for Bostonians of the future?

This event is the first in the four-part series of Fulfilling the Promise: Community Building and the Emerald Necklace.


Majora Carter, president, MCG Consulting
Majora Carter is a leading urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation & implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems. At Sustainable South Bronx, Carter deployed MIT’s first ever Mobile Fab-Lab (digital fabrication laboratory) to the South Bronx—where it served as an early iteration of the “Maker-Spaces” found elsewhere today. The project drew residents and visitors together for guided and creative collaborations. Her work is characterized by an emphasis on talent-retention on the corporate and community levels. Clients include industry leaders in many fields, municipal and federal government agencies, and leading educational institutions across the US.

Corey Allen, executive director, Franklin Park Coalition
​Corey J. Allen is a lifelong Mattapan resident and is the current Executive Director of the Franklin Park Coalition. Corey’s ties to Franklin Park date back to his father playing Little League bashful in the park, and his grandparents viewing Duke Ellington, a performance hosted by the original Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park concert series. Corey’s first adventures on his bicycle as a young child were in Franklin Park, and his high school football days took place in the George Robert White Schoolboy Stadium, located in the Playstead section of Franklin Park. Prior to serving as Executive Director of the Franklin Park Coalition, Corey had a successful career as a high school English teacher, dean of students, and community liaison within Boston Public Schools.


Mary Anne Ocampo Assoc. AIA
BSA associate AIA director
principal, Sasaki;
lecturer in urban design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Opening remarks
Marion Pressley FASLA, principal, Pressley Associates

Kishore Varanasi, urban design principal, CBT Architects

For those who qualify, 2 LUs are available.


Fulfilling the Promise: Community Building and the Emerald Necklace, a program of the BSA Foundation, is sponsored by the Chleck Family Foundation. The series has been organized in partnership with the Boston Society of Landscape Architects, and the Emerald Network initiative of LivableStreets. Other partners include the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and Franklin Park Coalition.

The promise of Columbia Road is long in the making. Intentionally created as one of the widest streets in Boston, this critical connection links Boston’s residential center to one of its greatest assets: the Boston Harbor. After more than a century as a connection primarily for vehicles, serving to divide the residential neighborhoods on either side, it is time to re-think the promise of Columbia Road. How can this road become a focal point for the community and enhance the lives of those living and working alongside it?

Completing this piece of the Emerald Necklace will not only connect residents of Roxbury and Dorchester to Boston Harbor and beyond, but also offer opportunities to improve public health, and create new placemaking moments.