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Boston bolsters harbour resilience

Mayor Walsh says the city isn’t just planning for the next storm but the storms the next generation will face

Resilient Boston Harbour will move the waterfront into a new era
Resilient Boston Harbour will move the waterfront into a new era

Boston has unveiled a “comprehensive and transformative vision” that will invest in Boston’s waterfront to help protect the US city’s residents, homes, jobs, and infrastructure against the impact of rising sea level and climate change.


“Resilient Boston Harbour” lays out strategies along Boston’s 47-mile shoreline that aims to increase access and open space along the waterfront while better protecting the city during a major flooding event.


Getting the city climate-ready


Resilient Boston Harbour builds off Imagine Boston 2030 and uses the city’s Climate Ready Boston 2070 flood maps and coastal resilience neighbourhood studies to focus on Boston’s most vulnerable flood pathways.


The strategies laid out in the plan include elevated landscapes, enhanced waterfront parks, flood resilient buildings, and revitalised and increased connections and access to the waterfront. The strategies will require collaboration and funding between federal, state, private, philanthropic and non-profit partners.


“We’re not just planning for the next storm we’ll face, we’re planning for the storms the next generation will face,” said Martin Walsh, mayor. “A resilient, climate-ready Boston Harbour presents an opportunity to protect Boston, connect Boston, and enhance Boston, now and for the future.”


He continued: “As we enter a new era in our harbour’s history, Boston can show the world that resilience is not only the ability to survive adversity, but to emerge even stronger than before. That’s the promise of a resilient Boston.”

“A resilient, climate-ready Boston Harbour presents an opportunity to protect Boston, connect Boston, and enhance Boston”

Resilient Boston Harbour will require a variety of funding sources. Mayor Walsh announced that the city of Boston will commit 10 per cent of all new capital funding to resilience projects. He also called on Boston’s state and federal government partners, as well as the private sector and non-profit and philanthropic stakeholders to join the city in committing to make these necessary investments a reality.


Boston’s resilience strategy is focused on ensuring every resident can reach their full potential regardless of their background and removing the barriers of systemic racism that hinder Bostonians from having access to opportunities.


“Building a resilient city is a serious challenge in response to a sobering threat, but it also brings enormous opportunity to re-think our relationship to the harbour and create a world-class waterfront,” added Kathy Abbott, president and CEO of Boston Harbour Now.


“We commend mayor Walsh for seizing this moment to design a waterfront that is more accessible, beautiful, and inclusive than ever before. The urgency of climate change requires all of us to step up and work together like never before.”


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