Working Papers
PDF | Free | 69 pages
Download PDF

Boston’s Open Space and Sea Level Rise

An Assessment of the Role of Open Spaces in Mitigating the Impacts of Climate Change-Related Sea Level Rise and Flooding

Ellen M. Douglas, Emily Moothart, and Gerard Cogliano

December 2018, English

Boston, Massachusetts is vulnerable to a number of climate change impacts, the most certain of which are sea level rise (SLR) and the resultant coastal flooding. The feasibility of building a storm surge barrier across Boston Harbor to reduce this vulnerability was being evaluated at the time this project was beginning. The original motivation for the study reported herein was to evaluate the potential impacts of such a large construction project on open space in Boston. Instead, given the reported infeasibility of a harbor barrier, we found that open space has the potential to serve as a key component of Boston’s resiliency to future climate change impacts, especially in mitigating the impacts of coastal flooding.


Climate Mitigation, Conservation, GIS