CLIMATE READY BOSTON — Climate Resilience & Adaptation in Boston

Jessica Feldish

This past December, Mayor Walsh of the City of Boston released the latest report for Climate Ready Boston, the City’s ongoing initiative to prepare Boston for the impacts of climate change. 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’s vision for a Climate Ready Boston is one that protects residents while improving public services and enhancing open space.



To address the challenges associated with a changing climate, this new report from Climate Ready Boston features four components:

  • updated climate science projections;

  • a comprehensive vulnerabilities assessment;

  • recommended climate resilience initiatives; and

  • eight focus areas to be explored in more detail.

The four major climate impacts for Boston are extreme temperatures, sea level rise, increased precipitation, and storms. Now that the analysis is finished, the City is moving forward to act on the report’s recommendations.

Climate Ready Boston outlines several types of solutions to address climate change impacts in Boston.



Boston is already actively working towards solutions that are needed to protect residents, infrastructure, and the built environment from the growing risk from one of the climate change impacts, floods, in the coming decades.

The City of Boston was recently awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management to design nature-based coastal resiliency strategies for two priority sites in East Boston and north Charlestown. These sites were selected because they are currently at risk for flooding -- which will only increase in the future. They both are also relatively narrow, and a specific flood protection solution could effectively be employed at these flood pathway entrances. These solutions will provide a template for how the City looks at additional at-risk areas.



Mayor Walsh also announced in December that the Barr Foundation has committed additional funds to help the City of Boston expand its local resilience area planning to even more neighborhoods at-risk for climate impacts. This support for neighborhood-level resilience projects, coastal protection analysis, and community engagement will be critical for implementing solutions identified in the Climate Ready Boston report.


This past year, Boston experienced higher than average tides due to lunar movements that give a preview to how the coast will change in the future; monitoring these natural tidal events help aid in planning for bigger coastal changes.

Greenovate Boston will also pilot a ‘climate leaders’ engagement program for Bostonians who want to be more involved with the City’s climate work. This program will provide the training necessary to address the report's key findings and recommendations, as well as help participants lead relevant conversations within their respective communities about resiliency. The program is still being developed in partnership with the Green Ribbon Commission; stay tuned for more details on the first training in 2017.


Greenovate Boston will launch a peer-to-peer education program about what a “Climate Ready Boston” can look like to co-create this vision with the Boston community.


The City of Boston, in partnership with community members and business, education, health, and other sectors, can advance a vision for a Climate Ready Boston by developing plans to protect shorelines; improve transportation, energy, water and waste systems; promote building practices that increase resilience to impacts; and increase engagement and resources that promote community action and social resilience.

Want to get involved? Connect with Greenovate Boston to learn about the best ways you can join the movement for a climate-ready Boston.