CLIMATE SMART CITIES BOSTON METRO MAYORS
Boston is highly vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate and is projected to experience more intense storms, warmer days, and rising sea levels over the next several decades. But these impacts won’t stop at the city’s limits; they’ll be felt across the entire region, affecting all who live, work, and play throughout the Boston area.
At The Trust for Public Land, we believe that local climate change preparations must also cross city lines, drawing on the expertise and resources of Boston’s many surrounding municipalities. That’s why we’re teaming up with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to bring our Climate-Smart Cities initiative to the 14 cities and towns in the Metro Mayors Coalition, a voluntary coalition of Greater Boston communities who work together to find solutions to common problems. These communities include Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Melrose, Medford, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop. Together we are helping to unite these cities around their shared climate challenges and develop the tools needed to overcome them.
The Trust for Public Land’s national Climate-Smart Cities program is partnering with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and these 14 regional leaders in providing key planning and decision-making support to help the city achieve regional resiliency goals by leveraging the power of green infrastructure for those who need it most. Together with the Metro Mayors Coalition and other municipal and community partners, we’re bringing cutting-edge science, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) planning, and innovative design to drive park, open space and green infrastructure solutions in preparing the city and its most vulnerable for a climate-resilient future.
Our Climate-Smart Cities process bring together a team of experts to research, design, and build the infrastructure and tools that help increase our resilience to climate change. Our strategy is to:
This project is possible in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). With MAPC, we have brought the Climate-Smart Cities initiative to the 14 cities and towns in the Metro Mayors Coalition, a voluntary coalition of Greater Boston communities who work together to find solutions to common problems. These communities include Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Melrose, Medford, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop.
Urban Land Institute (ULI) Boston/New England has partnered with the Trust for Public Land to identify uses of the Climate-Smart Cities Boston Metro Mayors Decision Support Tool for private sector use. The tool will serve as a resource for the private sector to be informed and provide possible resiliency interventions on future projects to build more resilient cities in the region.
Findings of the Discovery Process
The goal of the Discovery Process is to gain a common understanding of existing efforts related to multi-benefit green infrastructure implementation, identify barriers to implementation, and identify common gaps and research needs. Through a series of facilitated interviews with a broad cross section of city, nonprofit, academic, and private sector partners, we synthesized key findings across five major categories: drivers of green infrastructure implementation, barriers to green infrastructure implementation, green infrastructure decision makers, sources of green infrastructure funds, and information gaps and research needs.
GIS-based Decision Support
A web-based decision support tool and other related web applications will foster effective collaboration and science-based prioritization for green infrastructure development. This Climate-Smart Cities planning tool will help change agents consider climate risks within and across the metro Boston region and identify priority areas for multi-benefit green infrastructure investment—based on environmental threat and the location of vulnerable populations. The development of the tool was guided by a Technical Advisory Team with representatives from each of the partner jurisdictions, local organizations, and universities.
Green Infrastructure Demonstration
In collaboration with city agencies and other partners, The Trust for Public Land has used the decision support tool analysis to identify and evaluate sites for multi-benefit green infrastructure, serving priority communities for stormwater management and heat mitigation in the City of Melrose and the City of Medford. Catalyzing on local water quality initiatives already underway, the Climate-Smart Cities program is bringing resources for identifying, pursuing and communicating the multiple benefits of traditional green stormwater infrastructure.