New Urban Designs Identiﬁed in ReportHelp Waterfront Areas Respond to Flooding
ew urban designs, described in a report released Aug. 1, can help waterfront cities respond to sealevel rise and other effects of climate change.The report, issued by the Boston Harbor Associationand Sasaki Associates, provides 12 case studies describ-ing how cities around the world are using a conceptknown as ‘‘designing with water’’ to allow defined areasto flood or contain water in order to avoid damage toother areas.This approach allows city planners and developers toexplore innovative designs that enable urban areas tosurvive and thrive in the face of rising sea levels and ex-treme coastal storms, the study’s authors said.
Sea Level Could Rise 6 Feet.
According to report, ‘‘De-signing with Water: Creative Examples from Aroundthe Globe,’’ storms in the Northeast are getting signifi-cantly worse.The study says that sea level in Boston has risen by afoot over the last century and is projected to rise an-other 2 to 6 feet by 2100.‘‘While extreme flooding is generally a new problemfor Boston, cities such as Amsterdam, Hamburg andSeoul have had decades, even centuries, of learninghow to allow flooding without damage occurring,’’ Julie Wormser, executive director of the Boston Harbor As-sociation said at a press conference on Aug. 1. ‘‘Thesecities have recognized that it is financially, culturallyand ecologically beneficial to work with water, insteadof fighting to keep every last drop out.’’
Case studies in the report includesuch design projects as canals, floodable first floors,floating apartment buildings and floodable open spaces within cities.In tandem with release of the study, Brian Swett,chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for Bos-ton, said the city will host an international competitionthis fall calling for climate change-resilient design solu-tions for three at-risk waterfront sites in Boston. Hesaid the design contest is part of overall expanded ef-forts by the city to address the issues of climate adapta-tion.The city’s climate adaptation plan contains a numberof recommendations for both the public and private sec-tor to prepare for flooding, including one that calls for working with stakeholders to align building codes, zon-ing regulations, insurance premiums and other market-based incentives to align flood preparedness activities with profitability.The Designing with Water study is the second volumein a series of studies that began with the 2013 report‘‘Preparing for the Rising Tide,’’ which provided an ini-tial assessment of Boston’s vulnerability to coastalflooding due to storm surges and sea level rise.
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NUMBER 149 AUGUST 4, 2014
2014 BY THE BUREAU OF NATIONAL AFFAIRS, INC. ISSN 1060-2976
Daily Environment Report