Goal 3: Promote a healthy environment and adapt to climate change
We envision a future in which Boston’s residents and businesses are able to thrive in the face of increasing climate risks and all Bostonians live in healthy neighborhoods. Through Imagine Boston, we will create a 21st century waterfront that reduces our vulnerability to climate risk, creates jobs and dramatically improves the public realm. We will embrace new approaches to greenhouse gas reduction and invest in the innovative energy systems, green infrastructure and remediated brownfields needed to make Boston a healthy place for all residents to live and grow.
How can we achieve this goal? Our emerging strategies to promote a healthy environment and adapt to climate change are:
- Create a waterfront where vibrant public open spaces coexist with revitalized neighborhoods, commercial centers and important industrial uses
- Protect critical infrastructure and economic assets from impacts and disruption resulting from climate-related events
- Continue to be a global leader in reducing GHG emissions in the built environment and energy, transit and waste sectors
- Improve neighborhood quality of life and climate resilience through improved air and water quality, brownfield remediation and green infrastructure
- Climate change impacts, including coastal flooding exacerbated by sea level rise and storm surge, more frequent and heavier precipitation, and more frequent and intense heat waves, put Boston’s neighborhoods, residents and economy at risk. An estimated $55 Billion of Boston’s assets are exposed to a 100-year flood event making Boston the 12th most exposed city globally.
- However, we have shown leadership in the face of environmental challenges before. We have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Since 2005, we have successfully reduced emissions by 17 percent.
- We know how to think big about the health of Boston’s environment. Since the 1980s, we have cleaned up the harbor and brought Bostonians back to the waterfront. Today, we are ready to invest in a waterfront for our fifth century – one that includes a mix of uses, ensures public access and reduces climate vulnerability.
In order to achieve this goal, we need to reduce our physical and economic vulnerability to climate risks and create a healthy, safe environment for residents and businesses.
Want to provide feedback on these strategies or add your ideas about how Boston can guide growth? Please weigh in now on where Boston should grow.