Resilient Boston: An Equitable and Connected City

The Resilient Boston plan focuses on racial equity, social cohesion and resilience strategies for Boston, Massachusetts. The report outlines visions, goals and actions that support climate change adaptation measures and solutions targeting the most vulnerable residents in the city. Resilient Boston is part of the city’s participation in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative. 

The effects of climate change on Boston are discussed in the report - and the city acknowledges that climate change presents “significant shocks and stresses for Boston.” Primary climate impacts for the city include sea level rise and related flood damage, impacts on critical infrastructure and city assets, increased average temperatures, as well as urban heat island effects. According to the report, Boston has already experienced 21 extreme weather-related events that triggered federal or state disaster declarations since 1991. 

Resilient Boston presents Initiatives which include both proposed and existing policies, programs, or practices that the City will implement to help reach the plan’s broader Visions and Goals. Actions are delineated that illustrate how the initiatives will be advanced. Action Targets and timeframes are included - which are measures for tracking progress toward achieving the Visions, Goals, and Initiatives. For more detail, please refer to the Summary of Initiatives located in the Appendix on page 136.

Four primary Visions provide the framework of Resilient Boston:

Vision 1: Reflective City, Stronger People - aimed to eliminate racism in Boston, and equitably face emergencies

Vision 2: Collaborative, Proactive Governance - to engage residents better in local government and improve diversity in city hiring and promotion;

Vision 3: Equitable Economic Opportunity - closing the wealth gap, and ensure equitable access to economic opportunities

Vision 4: Connected, Adaptive City - Increased connectivity of communities of color, while preparing for crises such as climate change - which includes developing resilient infrastructure

One of the goals related to the 4th Vision (Goal 4.2) is to: Prepare for the impacts of climate change and other threats, while accelerating sustainable infrastructure, environment, and communities. Some of the Actions listed to support this goal include:

Neighborhood Water Management: "To partner with prioritized neighborhoods to co-design targeted upgrades to infrastructure facing high risk of stormwater flooding; advancing the green infrastructure location plan called for in Climate Ready Boston that will help site and prioritize green infrastructure such as bioswales, rain gardens, permeable pavement, tree plantings, and green/blue roofs."

Resilient Infrastructure Financing: "To ensure that infrastructure financing is leveraged to benefit vulnerable communities by prioritizing geographies based on projected risk of shocks and stresses and by embedding a resilience and racial equity lens in the budgets for those projects."



Publication Date: July 13, 2017

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  • Adaptation plan

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