Creating district-wide solutions to coastal flooding from sea level rise and storms in South Boston
In December 2016, the City of Boston released its citywide Climate Ready Boston report, which assessed current and future vulnerabilities associated with coastal flooding from sea level rise and storms. The report identified eight focus areas in the city that are particularly susceptible to climate vulnerabilities and recommended that these areas be studied and resilience measures developed at a neighborhood scale. Of the eight focus areas, South Boston consistently faces significant exposure and potential losses to coastal flooding across all sea level rise conditions and flood events.
Climate Ready South Boston is seeking to develop coastal resilience measures for the Fort Point Channel and South Boston Waterfront that both mitigate coastal flooding and benefit surrounding neighborhoods. Working with the Arcadis consultant team and the City of Boston Environment Department, CivicMoxie coordinated community outreach and engagement efforts, which tapped a diverse range of stakeholders to identify the key investment areas and opportunities for collaboration. Over 650 people participated in the coastal resiliency design process through meetings, community events, one-on-one interviews, focus groups, open houses, and an online survey. South Boston residents, property owners, office workers, public officials, non-profit leaders, and others shared their desire for effective and long-lasting solutions to keep them safe, maintain and enhance waterfront access, and protect property and their workplaces in the wake of coastal flooding.
Due to the scale and nature of flood risk in the area, there was also overwhelming acceptance of the need for collective action. In other words, the actions of single property owners could affect the broader community and a collective, coherent strategy for the district is critical to flood risk reduction and quality of life long term. In addition to receiving extensive public input, CivicMoxie and the project team recognized the importance of cultivating relationships among government and private-sector stakeholders to ensure that collaborations extend beyond the life of the planning process. These relationships and strong community support are critical in implementing resilience solutions that allow South Boston to effectively adapt to climate change.
Climate action, community engagement, downtown / district plan, waterfront / resiliency