Mayor Marty Walsh announced the release of the latest report for Climate Ready Boston, the city's ongoing initiative to prepare Boston for the impacts of climate change, on Dec. 8. The report shows that Boston can tackle the challenge of climate change while creating new economic opportunities and improving quality of life in neighborhoods across the city.
"Boston is more climate-ready today than it has ever been before," said Walsh. "We have the knowledge, talent and resources to prepare our neighborhoods and businesses for climate change and will continue to cut carbon emissions, tackling climate change head on."
To address these challenges, the latest Climate Ready Boston report features four components:
- Updated climate projections: Updated projections for four climate factors: extreme temperatures, sea level rise, increased precipitation and storms.
- Vulnerabilities assessment: A comprehensive evaluation of current and potential future risks associated with extreme heat and flooding on Boston's residents, buildings, infrastructure and economy.
- Climate resilience initiatives: Recommended policy, planning, programmatic and financial initiatives that address the risks identified in the vulnerability assessment, summarized in a recommended implementation roadmap that sets forth, for each initiative, time frame and key milestones.
- Focus areas: Eight Boston areas where the results of the vulnerability assessment and the climate resilience initiatives are applied in more detail to illustrate the risks Boston faces and how Boston can address them. The focus areas recognize that some risk, particularly for coastal and riverine flooding, is spatially concentrated.
The report is available at boston.gov/climate-ready.
"Boston residents are already impacted by extreme heat, rain, snow and flooding," said Austin Blackmon, chief of environment, energy and open space. "Climate Ready Boston shows that these trends are expected to continue, and now we have a better understanding of what we need to do to prepare."
"Boston has made significant strides in planning for climate impacts and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and the state is proud to support the city in these efforts," said Matthew Beaton, energy and environmental affairs secretary. "As the commonwealth continues with efforts to prevent and prepare for climate change, we look to build on the work of the city of Boston and bring techniques developed through Climate Ready Boston and in other innovative communities to help cities and towns across Massachusetts address these challenges."
The city of Boston, in partnership with community members and business, education, health and other sectors, can advance this vision for a Climate Ready Boston by developing plans to protect shorelines, improving transportation, energy, water and waste systems, promoting building practices that increase resilience to impacts, and increasing engagement and resources that promote community action and social resilience.
The next phase of city-led planning will focus on the East Boston Greenway and Charlestown's Schrafft site, two areas most at-risk for flooding with available funding through the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. The projects will build on the vulnerability assessment developed through Climate Ready Boston findings, and will develop and design coastal resiliency strategies. The city of Boston issued a request for proposals for that project on Nov. 18.
The East Boston and Charlestown projects are only one component of the city's implementation plan. The city of Boston intends to ensure that all of Boston is climate-ready and that the most complex flooding pathways pose less of a risk to its residents, businesses and institutions. Even as current projects are underway, the city will look to begin new neighborhood initiatives in downtown and South Boston with more to follow. The Barr Foundation recently approved a $500,000 grant to support the city's implementation of Climate Ready Boston.
"This report clarifies the risks the city is facing from climate change. It includes powerful recommendations, and there is real urgency to start working on them. The Green Ribbon Commission stands ready to work in partnership with the city," said Amos Hostetter, founder and co-chair of Boston's Green Ribbon Commission.
Climate Ready Boston works closely with Imagine Boston 2030, Go Boston 2030, the city's Office of Resilience and Racial Equity, and other planning initiatives to ensure that climate adaptation supports the mayor's goals for economic growth and social equity across the city.
Climate Ready Boston is led by the city of Boston in partnership with the Green Ribbon Commission and with support from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management with major support from community partners.
For information about Climate Ready Boston: boston.gov/climate-ready.