The latest report from Climate Ready Boston was released yesterday by Mayor Martin J. Walsh. After a year of collaboration across departments, different levels of government, various sectors, and our neighborhoods, the City has a comprehensive assessment of the climate change risks it will face, and tangible action steps forward.
Climate Ready Boston is Mayor Walsh’s initiative to make Boston more resilient to the impacts of climate change. This latest report looks at how issues such as rising sea levels and more extreme temperatures will impact our neighborhoods, infrastructure systems, buildings, and environment. It recommends actions that reduce Boston’s risks, and strengthens the resilience of our City. Now that the report is out, the City is moving forward to act on these recommendations.
The study released yesterday identifies nine locations in Boston most at risk from coastal flooding due to sea level rise. In these spots, protection solutions are needed to protect residents, infrastructure, and the built environment from the growing risk of floods in the coming decades.
The City of Boston was recently awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management to design nature-based coastal resiliency strategies for two priority sites in East Boston and north Charlestown. These sites were selected because they are currently at risk for flooding, which will only increase in the future. They both are also relatively narrow, and a specific flood protection solution could effectively be employed at these flood pathway entrances. These solutions will provide a template for how the City looks at additional at-risk areas. The City released an RFP for this project on November 14, which closes next week.
Mayor Walsh also announced yesterday the Barr Foundation has committed additional funds to help the City of Boston expand its local resilience area planning to even more neighborhoods at-risk for climate impacts. This support for neighborhood-level resilience projects, coastal protection analysis, and community engagement will be critical for implementing solutions identified in the Climate Ready Boston report.
Image from Climate Ready Boston report detailing areas to study for district-scale flood protections
Greenovate Boston will also pilot a ‘climate leaders’ engagement program for Bostonians who want to be more involved with the City’s climate work. This program will provide the training necessary to address the report's key findings and recommendations, as well as help participants lead relevant conversations within their respective communities about resiliency. The program is still being developed in partnership with the Green Ribbon Commission; stay tuned for more details on the first training in January 2017.
Read up on the findings of the newly released Climate Ready Boston report on our new Boston.gov website, and make sure you comment on the draft of the Imagine Boston 2030 report. As always, reach out (on email, Twitter, or Facebook) with any questions!