By October 23, 2019 No Comments

Bostonians told us how they deal with extreme heat – and where they go to have fun while keeping cool.

Extreme heat is one of the ways Boston will experience climate change, and the City is working hard to prepare residents through its Climate Ready Boston initiative. Climate Ready Boston brings the region’s top climate scientists together in order to project what climate change will really look like in Boston, and equips communities with the information they need to become stronger and more resilient to the changes ahead.


This summer Greenovate is keeping community members up-to-date on Climate Ready Boston’s extreme heat projections, sharing useful resources to help them prepare for the heat, and inviting them to heat preparedness workshops and other educational opportunities.

We’re also asking community members to share their extreme heat experiences and strategies for staying healthy when things heat up. Bostonians’ knowledge and skills are incredible resources. Sharing them makes our communities stronger and helps us all prepare.

This week we invited Greenovators to complete a survey about their heat preparedness strategies and their favorite spots to cool down. We learned interesting things – most importantly: Greenovators are creative, and they’ve turned dealing with the heat into an opportunity to come together, have fun, and explore the great resources our city has to offer.

Let’s dive into the results! Here are some interesting takeaways:

The 46 respondents described where they go to get relief when temperatures are up. Lots of people listed public places like libraries and museums. Many said they flock to the water – be it the river, harbor or the pool. Here are the results, organized by category:

We also asked people to look at a list of heat preparedness strategies. Here are the strategies we proposed and the percentage of respondents who regularly employ them:

Getting personal

Some respondents wrote more fully about the heat challenges they face and creative ways they deal with them:

“I stay longer at work – there’s no AC or fan at home.”

02128 – East Boston: “Waterfront parks like Piers Park in Eastie are really cool. If possible, I find an excuse to visit the Harbor Islands or get out on the water. If it gets really bad (I have no AC in my house) I head off to the library”

02130 – Jamaica Plain: “We use the spray features at playgrounds. But also my apartment is highly insulated and shaded by massive oak trees for natural tempering.”

02135 – Brighton: “I head out to Crystal Lake in Newton; or the Kennedy Greenway fountains and any other typically kids’ fountain – I jump in, shorts and all!”

02129 – Charlestown: “I ride the ferry!”

And here’s feedback from one of our friends across the river who face many of the same climate change challenges that we do:

02139 – Cambridge: “I cool off in my shady garden, neighborhood pool, an air conditioned movie theatre, or by the waterfront or the river where there’s a breeze.”

Map of hot spots to cool down

Participants named their go-to spots for keeping their cool in the summer. They submitted dozens of locations all over the city. Explore this map to see where you’ll find your fellow Bostonians when things are heating up – and get some good ideas for the next heat wave!

Additional maps of places to beat the beat

  • BCYF public pools and spray features
  • City of Boston Cooling Centers

Opportunities to prepare for extreme heat

Throughout the summer, Greenovate will connect you with resources to help you prepare for the heat – like Renew Boston’s upcoming “Staying Cool in Summer, Warm in Winter” workshops. Renew Boston saves residents energy and money by connecting them with incentives and rebates for energy efficiency upgrades and helping them make improvements to their homes. Learn more about these and other opportunities on our Community Calendar and by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you, Greenovators!

We’ve learned a lot from the Greenovators who responded to our heat preparedness survey, and we want to thank them for their participation. Community members give Greenovate Boston its strength – and sharing preparedness ideas and helping one another get ready for the effects of climate change makes our communities healthier, stronger, and more resilient.