In determining the feasibility and practicality of solutions, the Terrascope Class of 2024 has developed an overarching budget and timeline to accompany the proposal. The team’s proposed solution to the urban biodiversity crisis has three parts: (1) development of green spaces and wildlife corridors to combat habitat fragmentation and urban sprawl, (2) adaptive landscaping to transform devalued or abandoned spaces, and (3) the shift from conventional farming to forms of alternative agriculture. 

Project Prioritization

The most immediate project is the construction of an MIT Aquaponics Exhibition, which is both a smaller-scale project and one which is most accessible for the Terrascope Class. This project will begin in 2021, along with the Mattapan Neighborhood park expansions in Boston. The reason for prioritization of the Mattapan park expansions is that they are included in the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Open Space and Recreation Plan for 2015-2021, as well as in the Boston Capital Budget for 2021-2025. Beginning planning of those parks in 2021 and concluding construction by 2025 would be the most effective way to ensure that necessary development occurs. 

Beginning in 2022, one year after the Mattapan park expansions start, restoration efforts in Sprague Pond should commence. The implementation of a water quality monitoring effort and outreach regarding stormwater management practices are both relatively short-term projects. As no construction is required for these efforts to commence, the Terrascope Group strongly encourages that this project begin soon, in order to prevent further degradation of the Sprague Pond ecosystem. 

As both the Mattapan park expansions and Sprague Pond restoration draw to a close in 2025, the Terrascope Class intends to then begin phase one of two demolition efforts associated with adaptive landscaping. This first phase involves demolition and conversion of land into a community garden, while the second phase involves the demolition and renovation of five abandoned buildings into green spaces. The demolition projects occur later on in the timeline, due to the extensive planning and collaboration required to successfully turn abandoned spaces into functional areas. 

Finally, after the demolition projects are complete in 2028, the project will move into two major wildlife corridor and green space development efforts. The extension of the South Bay Harbor Trail along Massachusetts Avenue is projected to take at least seven years, particularly due to the widespread and frequent use of Mass. Ave. Two years after this wildlife corridor extension effort begins, reclamation of the West Roxbury Quarry and development of an adjacent wildlife corridor will start. These two projects require high levels of community engagement and feedback, which is likely to be a longer-term commitment. Specifically, the West Roxbury Quarry reclamation is likely to take an estimated fifteen years, both based on estimations by quarry representatives, and based on the need for long-term filling, revegetation, and monitoring of wildlife activity.


Budget information for each of the three solution groups was calculated based upon past case studies, projects, and reports. The methodology for calculation of projected cost is summarized below, and can also be found explained in more detail in the Economic Feasibility articles within each solution group. In summary, the Terrascope Class of 2024 projects that the total cost for the solution proposed will be $23.1 million.

Urban Sprawl:  

The comprehensive development of green spaces and wildlife corridors in Boston is expected to cost a total of $15.2 million, distributed across four project sites in the city. The first target area is Sprague Pond, where water quality monitoring and stormwater drainage education efforts will be implemented. The Terrascope Class proposal for restoration in Sprague Pond does not include construction or physical development, and there are thus no calculated additional costs of implementation. Target area two involves reclamation of the West Roxbury Quarry and development of additional wildlife corridors, which will comprise $8.4 million based on scaling of the costs associated with previous similar projects. Park construction associated with target area three will cost a total of $5.2 million, while wildlife corridor extensions in target area four will cost a projected $1.6 million. Read more about the economic feasibility of the Boston proposal…

The Terrascope Class also proposes several development goals and metrics for currently expanding cities. The proposal includes guidelines for creating urban parks, planting trees, creating wildlife corridors, roadside corridors, green roofs, and green walls in the land area incorporated into the expanding city. While these metrics can be applied to a city of any expansion rate, the Class calculated the cost of incrementally implementing these projects in five decades using the historic expansion rate of Las Vegas, Nevada from 1950 to 2000. Based on these calculations, the average annual cost per area of expansion will equal $0.273/m2 – $1.383/m2. Read more about economic feasibility in future cities…

Area of ExpansionTotal Cost of Projects over Ten Years Total Annual Cost Range
1950-196022,747,488 m2$64,001,643 – $192,872,203$6,400,164 – $19,287,220
1960-197028,472,727 m2$74,350,994 – $321,222,135$7,435,099 – $32,122,213
1970-198035,638,932 m2$95,528,542 – $505,346,293$9,552,854 – $50,534,629
1980-199044,608,776 m2$123,737,290 – $744,878,509$12,373,729 – $74,487,851
1990-200055,836,209 m2$155,984,981-$1,033,506,820$15,598,498-$103,350,682

Adaptive Landscaping:

Within the context of adaptive landscaping, there is a total of six demolition projects intended as part of the solution. The first demolition project is located in Centre St., Boston, and involves the conversion of abandoned land into a community garden. The other five demolition projects can be grouped together to encompass general renovation of abandoned buildings in the Jamaica Plain and Dorchester neighborhoods with green infrastructure solutions. The total estimated cost for all of these projects is $7,725,467. Read more about economic feasibility in adaptive landscaping…

Stage / Type of Green InfrastructureCosts
Rain Gardens$306,004.15
Bioswale (12 ft wide)$36,010
Permeable Pavement$20,943.70
Green Roofs$218,952.50
Green Walls$8,600
Stage / Type of Green InfrastructureCosts
Rain Gardens$115,094.45
Bioswale (12 ft wide)$13,526
Permeable Pavement$7,867.10
Green Roofs$82,557.50
Green Walls$8,600
Stage / Type of Green InfrastructureCosts
Rain Gardens$134,670.41
Bioswale (12 ft wide)$15,832
Permeable Pavement$9,207.98
Green Roofs$96,543.50
Green Walls$8,600
Stage / Type of Green InfrastructureCosts
Rain Gardens$114,874
Bioswale (12 ft wide)$13,500.50
Permeable Pavement$7,852
Green Roofs$82,400
Green Walls$8,600
Stage / Type of Green InfrastructureCosts
Rain Gardens$88,420
Bioswale (12 ft wide)$10,385
Permeable Pavement$6,040
Green Roofs$63,500
Green Walls$8,600
Stage / Type of Green InfrastructureCosts
Rain Gardens$4,318,679.14
Bioswale (12 ft wide)$508,584.60
Permeable Pavement$295,796.92

Alternative Agriculture:

The MIT Aquaponics Exhibition is expected to require a startup cost of $175,000, along with a yearly maintenance cost of $412. This system is expected to pay for itself after 3 years and yield a yearly gross produce savings of $76,219.

The aquaponics system could be built within a year. The lifetime of the system is predicted to last as long as it is maintained. Read more about the economic feasibility of alternative agriculture…


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