The City of Boston recently released two city planning reports, "Climate Ready Boston" and "Imagine Boston 2030." Both reports identify sustaining current housing from climate change and growing resilient building.
However, as Stephen Gray, assistant professor of urban design at Harvard and a co-chairman for Boston’s 100 Resilient Cities Resilience Collaborative, points out in The Boston Globe, the reports entirely contradict each other. In fact, four of the five areas designated for development in the "Imagine Boston 2030" report were identified as highly prone to flooding due to climate change in the "Climate Ready Boston" report.
Our future growth strategy should at least avoid compounding these problems and prioritize the sustainable long view over the near-term benefits of politically expedient economic growth. Balancing physical and economic growth with environmental preparedness and considerations for social and racial equity will require more intentional coordination among ongoing planning efforts — Imagine Boston 2030, Climate Ready Boston, and Boston’s Resilience Strategy — so that they can dynamically influence and shape one another in consequential ways. Otherwise we remain dangerously disingenuous about our urban resilience objectives and risk catastrophic social and economic consequences for Boston, both now and for centuries to come.
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