Advancing Climate Resilience and Open Space
The FY23 Budget is making targeted investments to ensure access to high-quality open spaces for all Bostonians, reach goals outlined in the City's Climate Action Plan, implement BERDO 2.0, and advance Boston’s Green New Deal.
COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE
Investing in Carbon Neutral Buildings
The Environment Department is working to meet the City's goal of creating a carbon-free building stock, as outlined in the BERDO 2.0 ordinance. To meet the demand of the moment, $500,000 has been set aside in the FY23 Operating Budget to jump start the Equitable Emissions Investment Fund, which will be used to help focus equity in our decarbonization efforts. The Fund, along with the oversight components of the ordinance, will be implemented through the creation of two new positions in FY23. Finally, the Environment Department is partnering with the Office of Housing and the Boston Housing Authority to utilize $33 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to increase public housing sustainability and reduce emissions.
Climate resilience and mitigation
In FY23, the City is continuing our commitment to climate resilience. First, we are completing our neighborhood coastal review to design sustainable and resilient shorelines for generations to come. In addition, the FY23-27 Capital Plan includes a new $2.5 million investment in Climate Ready Streets, focused on mitigating stormwater and urban heat island across Boston. The Operating Budget funds a pilot program to train City employees on climate and the Green New Deal. All of this work will be supported by the addition of two new positions to focus on climate resilience and renewable energy.
Expanding our tree canopy
Boston knows that trees help our City, by helping to trap carbon in the air, improving the beauty of our streets, and reducing the urban heat island effect in our neighborhoods. In FY23, the Parks and Recreation Department is investing in developing Boston’s tree canopy across the City.
The department will receive new tree canopy positions, including two new arborists and a Tree Canopy Director. They will also ramp up planting and maintenance of new trees across the City's streets, supported by the Operating Budget and a $2.5 million ARPA investment.
RESILIENT OPEN SPACE
Boston recognizes the benefits that come with reliable access to open space. That’s why the FY23 Budget invests heavily in buying, building, and maintaining parks and urban wilds across the City. The Capital Plan includes nearly $3 million in new funding to maintain and improve eight playgrounds around Boston, in addition to the continued funding for upgrades for fourteen playgrounds.
In addition, the City will provide an additional four weeks of lighting to our municipal basketball and tennis courts, so that residents can continue enjoying recreation further into the fall season.
FOOD JUSTICE AND ACCESS
Boston is committed to providing equitable access to healthy food. In FY23, we are investing $800,000 in GrowBoston, the new Office of Urban Agriculture. The new office will sit within the Housing Cabinet and will increase food production throughout Boston, develop and implement innovative food production strategies, and coordinate with other City departments to expand citywide urban agriculture.
In addition, the Office of Food Justice will expand with a $250,000 Operating Budget investment to meet food insecurity needs in Boston. A portion of this investment will go towards the Boston Eats program, which provides free nutritious breakfast and lunch to children.