We had some discussion about outdoor public space in Barry's Corner at last night's Harvard meeting. There was talk about both where it should be (along North Harvard St, along Western Ave, at the intersection, etc) and its shape (thin and linear vs. compact) but I think the conversation should start with what types of activity the space is intended to host. What are its goals?
Sitting and eating was mentioned frequently and that is fine, but if Barry's Corner is going to be a real center of community activity then it needs to bring people together to do more than have a sandwich on a bench.
The Fairhaven Outdoor Cinema in Bellingham, WA is one example of a great looking outdoor space that brings neighbors together. On summer Saturday evenings there is live music starting at 7:30 or 8:00 followed by a family-friendly movie.
There are already other places around Boston with similar events (Free Friday Flicks at the Hatch Shell and Music & Movie Fridays at the Boston Harbor Hotel) but I don't know of anything comparable in this area.
A space with programming like this would be a great addition to our neighborhood and could be a nice place for the Harvard community, Allston residents from our existing community, and our new neighbors from the new Barry's Corner housing to all come together.