Malden River Creative Placemaking

Sign shows Malden River Route, Shoreline Access
Malden River Creative Placemaking


Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration


Malden River
Creative Placemaking


Malden River
Creative Placemaking

In 2019, the City of Malden requested Technical Assistance from the MAPC Arts and Culture Department to conduct a creative placemaking project to share knowledge about the long-term impediments and opportunities for change, and to increase public access to the Malden River.

The project will result in a creative placemaking installation along the river that will educate visitors about the opportunities and limitations to opening access to the river and tours that will bring people to areas with the high potential for change. MAPC will also distribute surveys to solicit input on short- and long-term activation strategies. MAPC is working with local partners to plan events in conjunction with the installation in late July and late September.


The Malden River is 2.3 miles long and flows through Malden, Medford, and Everett, where it converges with the Mystic River before exiting into Boston Harbor. It was formerly a meandering brackish stream influenced by the tides. However, after construction of the Amelia Earhart Dam in 1966, the Malden and Mystic Rivers were converted into freshwater habitats and have maintained a constant depth ever since.

Ever since industrialization began, the Malden River and its tributaries have been channelized and buried underground for large sections of its length, contributing to its Wikipedia entry which states “its banks are largely occupied by industrial business, and the river is scarcely used or even mentioned.”

Since 2017, three studies have been conducted by the City of Malden which have all identified the Malden River as a place with the potential for increased public access. These studies are:


For more information about the project, contact Daniel Koff, Regional Arts and Culture Planner at


Children participate in a tug-of-war

On July 28, we held "Exploring the Malden River" in partnership with the Chinese Culture Connection. Events included Tai Chi, tug o’ war, face painting, leaf rubbing, water balloon catch, drawing yourself on the Malden River, and an interactive activity about water runoff. Learn more and see photos from the day here.

Upcoming Events

Second Malden River Works Meeting
Thursday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Malden Senior Center
7 Washington Street
Malden, MA

Join us for the second public meeting for Malden River Works. We will share feedback from the first meeting, surveys, and outreach to develop a shared vision for the waterfront park at the DPW site.

Refreshments served

Click here to learn more.