Gloucester hopes to lure tourists with high-tech HarborWalk

David Filipov from The Boston Globe tours the Gloucester HarborWalk with mayor Caroline Kirk.

Designed by architectural and exhibit design firm Cambridge Seven Associates, the 1.2-mile-long HarborWalk connects downtown Gloucester with the historic working waterfront. Forty-two “Story Moments” on granite markers connect visitors and residents, via QR codes and smartphones to articles, photos, and videos that make Gloucester’s cultural, artistic, and maritime past to life.

Filipov reports, “The trick was to get visitors to engage in the waterfront without getting in the way of it. Over three years of planning and community meetings, it became clear that people did not want to “Disney-fy” Gloucester, Kirk said. Rather than sanitize the gritty waterfront, the project was designed to zig-zag in and out of docks that had been inaccessible, giving visitors a glimpse of the maritime port and the cultural treasures within.”