By Ryan Duffy, Communications Fellow
Linnean Solutions, a USGBC MA bronze-level sponsoring partner, was recently commissioned by the city of Boston to produce a report about how future climatic changes and weather-related ramifications will affect the city of Boston. Most notable in the report is the focus on climate change-related effects and Boston's unique geographical and historical circumstances.
To help prepare Boston for the warmer climate of tomorrow, Linnean Solutions partnered with the Built Environmental Coalition and the Resilient Design Institute to produce Building Resilience in Boston: Best Practices for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience in Existing Buildings. The report is chock-full of interesting information and facts about Boston and delves into four vitally important contexts for getting resilience right in Boston: geography, the built environment, and natural hazards, and vulnerable populations.
Boston is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change since it is an older coastal city. The report also highlights that this vulnerability will be amplified by the fact that the city transformed from a small isthmus into a vibrant metropolis via 19th-century landfill projects. The report then covers USGBC's favorite topic: buildings. The Building Resilience report outlines 11 building types, with small-scale housing of one to three stories—think those iconic triple-deckers—comprising almost a third of Boston’s square footage. Building resilience and city planning are two of the most crucial methods to adapt to new climatic patterns and storms.
The report discusses the most likely natural hazards to affect Boston– high winds, thunderstorms, blizzards, and Nor'easters, and explains how their secondary effects (such as chemical spills and commodity shortages) will affect the city. Lastly, it discusses the impact of climate change on Boston's population and various strata (since some populations have additional risks that call for consideration).
As climate change shapes the weather and world around us, Boston continues to prepare for the future. This report aims to support the city’s efforts through a deeper understanding of its land, built environment, the likely natural hazards, and the people most at risk. To learn more about these issues and the best resilience practices for Bostonians, check out the Linnean's website.
Read more about Linnean in our blog.