Climate change vulnerability study

I hope you’re not tired of me talking Somerville’s climate change efforts. Today, I attended a public presentation of Somerville’s climate vulnerability study. I won’t bore you with details – there are a lot of them. You can read the full report here. Suffice to say the City has identified nine priorities, and they seem like sensible ones:

PRIORITY 1: Precipitation-based flooding will impact much more of Somerville than coastal flooding.

PRIORITY 2: Sea level rise and storm surge flooding associated with the flanking of the Amelia Earhart Dam may occur as early as 2035 if significant investment in infrastructure improvements is not made.

PRIORITY 3: The Schrafft Center flood pathway in Boston, north of Sullivan Square, is of immediate concern to Somerville. It has the potential to flood under a present-day extreme event.

PRIORITY 4: The Fire Department Headquarters and Emergency Operations Center and the Police Department Headquarters are both vulnerable to flooding, which presents significant challenges to both daily city operations and operations during an emergency event.

PRIORITY 5: The transportation system (including MBTA, major roadways, evacuation routes, and bike paths) is highly vulnerable to all three climate hazards – coastal flooding, precipitation, and heat.

PRIORITY 6: Union Square, Assembly Square, and the Inner Belt, Somerville’s transformative economic development districts, are highly vulnerable to flooding impacts.

PRIORITY 7: Temperature is a ubiquitous threat throughout the city and will be relatively more intense in some areas based on a combination of surface types, lack of vegetation and level of emissions.

PRIORITY 8: Climate change presents the potential for serious public health impacts to vulnerable populations.

PRIORITY 9: Open space and trees are highly valuable asssets to Somerville and need to be protected and enhanced.

This was my last prep in advance of our first Somerville Climate Forward working group meeting next week.

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