Who is at risk?
Geographically, different parts of the city will be impacted by different hazards. Coastal neighborhoods will be at higher risk of flooding. Inland neighborhoods will be exposed to greater impacts of heat—many areas are already regarded as “heat islands.” All neighborhoods will be exposed to increased stormwater flooding if there are not significant improvements to infrastructure—especially in low-lying areas.
Additionally, some residents are more vulnerable to impacts. Climate Ready Boston looks at seven major categories of socially vulnerable residents—such as the elderly, who might lose access to necessary medical equipment in power outages, or those with lower incomes, who might lack the resources to evacuate the city if public transit fails. Action needs to be prioritized to address areas of Boston where there is significant overlap between these vulnerable populations and projected climate-change impacts.
Climate Ready Boston offers several potential strategies to preparing the city for what lies ahead. One of first follow-up initiatives will be looking at resilience solutions that address near-term flood entry points in Charlestown and East Boston.
What is the timeline?
The project kicked off in November 2015. The full report was released today, December 8 2016, at a press event and panel discussion hosted by the City of Boston.