This is what climate adaptation looks like. Partnerships between cities (for the zoning and permits), residents (to protect their property), universities (for the climate science), and private sector (engineering and construction expertize).
Many properties in Boston may have to waterproof their buildings – raising critical electrical systems to higher levels or building barriers against storm surges — as sea levels rise from climate change.
The city is stepping up a campaign to prepare buildings for rising seas that could significantly flood neighborhoods during storms.
The public-private plan comes at the same time a Boston Harbor Association report spotlights high-risk areas, such as Long Wharf and University of Massachusetts Boston, and outlines how property owners can best protect themselves from water.
Hurricane Sandy and last week’s massive snowstorm have added new urgency to the issue, city officials say. This “will help make our waterfront and the rest of Boston better prepared to handle future storms and get the city back in business as quickly as possible,” Mayor Thomas Menino said.
In the next six months, the Boston Conservation Commission will develop new flood-plain maps to take in to account future storm surges atop higher sea levels. A wetlands ordinance will also help guide property owners to prepare for higher sea levels, said Brian Swett, chief of Environment and Energy for the city.
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