In recent decades there have been major efforts to clean the Charles River. Starting with a campaign run by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and carried on continuously by the Charles River Conservancy, the river has seen drastic improvements to its water quality. In 2011 the Charles River was distinguished as the cleanest urban river in the United States, and during the summer of 2013 it became swimmable for the first time in 50 years.
While the river may be clean, the public perception of the water quality is deeply rooted in the watershed’s historic industrial uses. The next step in reinventing the Charles is to overcome the psychological barriers that separate it from the rest of Boston. This proposal reintroduces a playful interaction with the water through a series of floating islands.