Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration
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: