Boston has taken a data- and stakeholders-driven approach to climate adaptation, creating Climate Ready Boston in an effort to develop projections, assess risks, and create resilience strategies.

Born out of the city’s 2014 Climate Action Plan, Climate Ready Boston was launched in 2015 as an initiative to develop resilient solutions to the impacts of long-term climate change. The initiative has three key deliverables: consensus on updated projections on the impacts of climate change; an integrated vulnerability assessment of these impacts, including identification of neighborhoods, properties, and infrastructure assets that are most at risk; and specific resilience strategies and a guiding roadmap that will reduce the city’s vulnerabilities and prioritize implementation. Based on data and stakeholder engagement, such strategies will include a portfolio of solutions and interventions, such as policies, regulations, financial incentives, and design standards.

The initiative has not only provided the city with physical damage estimates, such as the cost of repairing buildings and infrastructure, but also costs to the community, at-risk individuals, business operations, and social networks. This has been possible through comprehensive cross-sector partnerships, which have funded the program, supplied data, and discussed and implemented recommendations, with more than 30 stakeholder committees, including city, state, and private sector agencies and community groups, participating on an advisory level.

6,000 responses from the public via an online engagement platform as part of Climate Ready Boston

The challenge

Extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy and winter storm Juno make it increasingly important for the City of Boston to prepare for impacts relating to climate change. By developing an understanding of projected climate change impacts, assessing how these will affect the city, and forming strategies to tackle these impacts, Climate Ready Boston ensures that the city is ready for the next extreme weather event, while adapting to long-term effects of climate change.


Economic Climate Ready Boston aims to quantify the potential economic impacts of climate change on the city.

Environmental Because of the Climate Ready Boston initiative, the city is seeking to create green spaces to mitigate both flooding and heat impacts.

Health As part of the project, Boston is consulting with health authorities to identify initiatives to reduce public health impacts, specifically those related to an increase in extreme temperatures.

Social By engaging with community groups to discuss experiences of climate impacts, such as blizzards and heat waves, the city is ensuring that adaptation measures will enhance quality of life of residents, particularly among its most vulnerable populations.

About Boston

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston and this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States. The area’s many colleges and universities make Boston an international center of higher education, including law, medicine, engineering, and business, and the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly 2,000 start-ups. The city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States as it has undergone gentrification, though it remains high on world livability rankings.

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