Climate Ready Boston - Layer 1, Updated Climate Projections
January 30, 2017
The recently published Climate Ready Boston (CRB) report, all 400 pages of it, has a number of recommendations to prepare Boston for climate change. The report labels and divides these recommendations into layers. As part of this blog series, Greenovate will break down each layer and publish a blog walking through the details. And because the report produced recommendations rather than specific policies, learning more from this blog and other upcoming Greenovate events will prepare you to be more informed, and position you to provide your own insights into the report and its implementation. So let’s get started!
Layer 1: Updated Climate Projections
The first CRB layer focuses on maintaining up-to-date information on future climate conditions in Boston in order to make the most informed decisions about planning and policy. To maintain this information the report recommends two initiatives be prioritized:
1. Create a climate committee to regularly update climate science projections
The report recommends the City convene a panel of leading climate scientists from local and regional institutions, aptly named the Greater Boston Panel on Climate. The panel will build upon the vision set out by the Boston Research Advisory Group (BRAG) to focus on key climate factors, such as extreme temperatures, sea level rise, coastal storms, and precipitation. They will be responsible for producing and updating a set of climate projections for the Boston area every five years AND assist local and state agencies in applying those conclusions to policy, design, and regulation. This helps ensure City planners and policy makers take into account the changing climate when making decisions.
2. Create future flood maps to support and guide planning, policy, and regulation
The newly created maps should show the extent and depth of future projected flooding based on the most up-to-date information the committee mentioned above creates. With the projection maps, local and state agencies will be able to use them to appropriately plan infrastructure. The report calls for the City to update these flood maps every five years.
We’re not the first city to set forth such ambitious goals. New York City convened a similar panel to report out about best practices and the most up-to-date information regarding climate. New York City’s last report was published in 2015 — so keep an eye out for it come 2018. To get a jump start on these recommendations, the Climate Ready Boston team created maps that reflect future conditions for three sea level rise scenarios (9, 21, and 36 inches). With these preliminary maps we’re able to visualize potential effects of sea level rise — check them out here!
The first of the five layers ensures that City officials have as much information as possible to inform their decisions. By updating this information, the City is able to make the best decisions possible to ensure a safe, healthy, and thriving Boston for many generations to come. Greenovate is excited to help in this endeavor by making sure you are informed! You can read all five layers by visiting Greenovate's website, and you can stay up to date on all things climate by joining Greenovate's newsletter.