PROJECT : Forest Hills TOD

Forest Hills TOD

  • CATEGORY : Phytotechnologies, Residential
  • LOCATION : Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA
  • DATE : Ongoing

Located within walking distance of the Forest Hills T-station, The Commons at Forest Hills is a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) of approximately 280 new residential units. A full complement of resident landscape amenities includes shared roof gardens, a sun deck, a retail café space and a redesigned pedestrian streetscape.

The landscape at The Commons has been designed to minimize garden maintenance and water requirements. This will result in a direct reduction of CO2 emissions from mowing and landscape maintenance equipment and less demand on potable water supplies.  The landscape is designed to return more resources (such as habitat enhancement, stormwater cleansing and passive cooling) than it consumes.   Landscape strategies to minimize maintenance and water requirements include the following: 

  • Roof deck landscapes will be planted with xeriscape (low water use) hardy plants.  This modified green roof system will help evaporate storm water and insulate the parking garage below.  By covering the garage with planting area, it will also mitigate potential heat generated from roof tops.
  • Lawn areas have been kept to a minimum.  The only lawn that will require regular mowing and irrigation is a small 2,000 square foot area in the rear northwest corner of the property that will be used as an amenity by residents.
  • All other plantings on the site, including the trees and shrubs along the street-side of the building are low-water use plant materials, and are hardy to this area.  Flowering perennial plants, which tend to require more maintenance than trees and shrubs, are minimally used in the planting design.
  • This underutilized industrial site was used for 100 years as a petroleum product distribution depot, and phytoremediation plantings will clean up any remaining soil impacts
  • The project will connect to nearby mutiuse recreation paths and will have more bike parking spaces than automobile parking spots.


  • Client:  Forest Hills Arborway, LLC.
  • Architect: Utile, Inc. (Architecture and Renderings Created by Utile, Inc.)
  • Development Consultant:  Fort Point Associates, Inc.
  • Traffic Consultant:  Howard/ Stein-Hudson, Inc.
  • Engineer: H.W. Moore Associates

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