Malden River Works
Malden River Works for Waterfront Equity and Resilience is Malden’s plans to transform the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) yard on the Malden River at 356 Commercial Street into a vibrant, climate resilient public riverfront park for all. The park will help reduce flooding a the DPW, significantly increase the tree canopy to mitigate urban heat island effects, restore natural riverbank habitats, and construct an elevated greenway path to serve as a flood barrier to sea level rise.
This project has only been possible because of the community members working in partnership with the City on the Malden River Works Steering Committee. The Committee was established in 2019 as a coalition of Malden's community leaders of color, environmental advocates, and city government representatives. This team works together to shape what the eventual park should look like, and to solicit meaningful input in the process from Malden’s diverse communities across age, ethnicity, and economic status. Members of Malden’s Environmental Justice populations, including Black, Arab, Haitian, Latinx, Chinese, and high school youth communities are represented on the Steering Committee. You can read more, and meet the members of the Steering Committee, here.
Thus far, the Malden River Works project has engaged over 1,500 community members through seven public meetings, 700 survey responses, and celebrations at the riverside.
This project has been publicly recognized for its highly inclusive process and for its innovative approach to creating inclusive, resilient open space along urban industrialized waterways. Malden River Works serves as a model for other communities with long manufacturing histories for how to incorporate flood resilient public infrastructure while protecting industrial operations.
Within Malden, the project is the first step in realizing an interconnected greenway surrounding the Malden River, providing public access to the city’s most treasured natural resource, while protecting properties from climate-related flood risks. The team has already begun to engage other property owners along the river to establish a forum for sharing lessons learned from the Malden River Works project and discuss shared climate risks and mitigation strategies.
Malden River Works has just received a third grant from the State’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program for $200,550.00, which will nearly complete the design work on the project.
You can find more information and opportunities to connect with the project at the Malden River Works website.