It will form a critical component of the Climate Ready Boston initiative, which aims to develop resilient solutions to prepare the city for the effects of climate change.
The City of Boston has been awarded a $280,070 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant that will fund the city’s first heat resilience study.
City leaders regard this as an essential next step in preparing for the projected increases in extreme heat events due to climate change over the coming decades.
The Heat Resilience Planning Study is a critical component of Climate Ready Boston, an initiative to develop resilient solutions that will prepare the city for the effects of climate change: flooding due to sea-level rise; and increased storms and extreme heat.
“Combatting for the very real threat of climate change is crucial as we continue to invest in strategies that prioritise our vulnerable communities to ensure an equitable, healthy future for all Bostonians,” said Martin Walsh, mayor of Boston.
“I’m proud the City has received this award and thank the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for [its] partnership in this vital work.”
The plan will build on heat preparedness work to date and explore a suite of potential heat mitigation strategies to identify infrastructure solutions and opportunities, as well as strengthen policies and programmes needed to reduce urban heat and heat risk.
“Our priority is to protect all residents from ecological hazards and climate change, but we know that not everyone is equally impacted”
The study will focus on “hot spots” throughout the neighbourhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Chinatown, and East Boston. Climate Ready Boston will develop heat mitigation scenarios in partnership with communities facing disproportionate effects of urban heat risk and compounding social inequity.
According to city leaders, solutions will be community-driven and will result in equity and public health focused strategies and metrics to protect the health and safety of its neighbourhoods for years to come.
“Our priority is to protect all residents from ecological hazards and climate change, but we know that not everyone is equally impacted,” said Chris Cook, chief of environment, energy, and open space, City of Boston.
“This heat resilience planning study will intentionally centre on environmental justice communities to guide us to protect our especially vulnerable neighbourhoods from the effects of climate change with actionable, innovative, and community-driven solutions.”
The City of Boston’s MVP grant is among the 41 communities that received funding from the Executive Office of Energy and Environment Affairs through its Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness programme.
The programme awarded a total of $11m in grants to municipalities to plan and implement climate change resilience projects.
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