Leventhal City Prize for Equitable Resilience

By Bevin P. Engelward

Director, MIT Superfund Research Program

A team led by CEC Director Dr. Kathy Vandiver won the Norman B. Leventhal City Prize, a $100,000 award offered by MIT’s Leventhal Center. The objective of the ‘Malden River Works for Waterfront Equity and Resilience’ project is to create a public open space to improve opportunities for community recreation and health. It is envisioned the river will become a place where people can gather or walk, and also enjoy being out in nature where the surroundings are healthy for both the mind and body. The project work involves redesigning a city-owned parcel which is the home of the Dept. of Public Works (DPW). The most ambitious goal, however, is a social capacity-building one, with the aim of broadening civic participation for communities of color. For this purpose, a Steering Committee for the project has been created with representative leaders from Malden’s diverse immigrant groups, including people of color who are currently underrepresented in the city government. This project was featured in an MIT News article and video and in the NIEHS PEPH Newsletter.