Katherine Leigh Wolf, MUP 2018

Summer 2017

Organization: Boston Planning & Development Agency, Boston, MA

Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship

Climate Resiliency in Glover’s Corner

” In the Boston area, climate change is expected to cause stronger storms and increased precipitation. These changes will likely increase greater storm water runoff, and intense rainfall can overwhelm local storm water systems. Through the Climate Ready Boston Initiative, the City of Boston is working to plan for increased weather severity beyond the scope of historical flood data.

Glover’s Corner, though protected in some regards by highway I-93, is vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding during heavy storms. With the potential for new development within the study area, there is an opportunity to build comprehensive strategies for the mitigation of climate change and to improve existing infrastructure.

The designation of the study area also highlighted the lack of open space and parks within Glover’s Corner, and has raised the question as to how private development can be leveraged to bring more green amenities to residents.

By bringing together the immediate threats of climate change and an existing lack of space for recreation, the Community Planning Team is focused on melding these two objectives into an open space program which also complements a strategy for climate resiliency.

One of my areas of focus over the summer has involved conducting precedent research on how other cities have been able to leverage the creation of open space to improve storm water management on multiple scales. These efforts have often simultaneously dealt with existing contamination and brown fields remediation. While cities such as Portland and Malmo are exploring surface storm water conveyance at the district scale, others, including DC and Philadelphia, have incorporated projects-specific designs which allow for on-site storm water management.

Given much of the land located within Glover’s Corner was previously used for industrial or commercial purposes, a strategy for storm water conveyance would need to complement any remediation of contaminated soil. Many of these precedents also included the proximity to water through the landscape design by combining surface storm water conveyance as open space water features.

While the future conditions for the creation of open space in Glover’s Corner won’t likely be determined for years to come, these precedents can serve to spark ideas and engage residents and community members in conversation at future planning workshops.”