Program Development and Implementation for The Lawn on D

HR&A developed the conceptual programming strategy and business plan for The Lawn on D.

The Lawn on D is a vibrant, flexible, program-driven landscape and event space located along Boston’s rapidly revitalizing D Street Corridor. Since its opening in the summer of 2014, the 2.7 acre park has become a popular, well-loved part of Boston’s Innovation District, drawing over 30,000 visitors from all areas of Boston to experience the park’s high-impact, well-rounded programming. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), the public-organization that owns the space located at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, tasked HR&A with the development of a catalytic programming strategy that would serve as an innovative placemaking exercise and driver of neighborhood revitalization. To frame the park as Boston’s new go-to destination for the area’s diverse customer base of residents, workers, and conventioneers, HR&A developed a vision that emphasizes play and leisurely interaction with culture, incorporating interactive playscapes, high-impact art and design, a diverse calendar of events, and local food and drink concessions. The resulting Lawn on D delivers high-quality, interactive programming – within a flexible, experimental event space and traditional passive park – to strengthen the connection of the convention center to the surrounding urban fabric.


HR&A worked with the MCCA to translate this programming vision into an implementable, defined strategy, and devised the planning, implementation, and management strategy for the park’s past four operating seasons. HR&A created a business and operations plan for the MCCA, which outlined a management structure and revenue sources. We also oversaw program concept development and implementation, to ensure its alignment with the MCCA’s vision for The Lawn on D and the surrounding D Street Corridor. This included vendor selection and management. As project manager, HR&A provided ongoing analysis of The Lawn on D’s programming performance and revenue targets to inform the MCCA’s future operations and management of the space.


During its operating seasons, The Lawn on D is open to the public seven days-a-week, hosting a mixture of recurring public programming such as daily morning exercise classes and weekly move screenings, as well as special events and exhibitions, including food festivals, art installations, and ticketed-concerts. Since its opening in 2014, the park has gained notoriety throughout Boston, and the country, as a new model for innovative, high-impact placemaking and received numerous awards for its programming and design.


  • 2015 Honor Award for General Design, Boston Society of Landscape Architects
  • 2015 National Small Project Award, American Institute of Architects
  • 2015 Downtown Merit Award for Public Space, International Downtown Association
  • 2015 Honor Award for General Design, American Society of Landscape Architects

Images Courtesy of: MCCA