Urban Fold

How Coastal Communities Can Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change

Dave Hampton, an architect and a principal at the consulting firm re:ground llc reviews last month’s "MIT Sea Grant’s Climate Change Symposium: Sustaining Coast Cities."
Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen / Wikimedia Commons

Hampton, a principal at the consulting firm re:ground llc, attended the Cambridge, Mass. conference June 16-18 and writes that the event made it clear to him how concerns about climate change have gone beyond surface discussions. The common terms used at these kind of events have more significance, especially in light of recent natural disasters, according to Hampton.

“…this symposium demonstrated that with Hurricane Sandy just recently behind us, the ‘what if’ scenario-izing is no longer necessary. Not only is the subject timelier than ever, but it appears that oft-used terms such as sustainability, climate change, development, disaster mitigation, adaptation, and resilience might actually be becoming inextricable facets of the same drive: to persist, and to persevere.”

Hampton writes that he was particularly drawn in by a presentation the Honorable Leo Robinson, councilor and lifelong resident of the northeast Boston are community of Chelsea, gave titled “One Community’s Concerns: Sea Level Rise and Chelsea.”

He describes how Robinson shared the environmental and economic perils of living in a community affected by sea-level rise.

“Packing 35,000 residents in 1.8 square miles, ‘…the redevelopment patterns that mature[d] in the cities like Chelsea… have resulted in almost every square foot of property being developed and previous water and wetland resources being filled to create more land for development.’”

Full Story: Adapt, We May’ – The Chelsea Way: Regional Resilience and America’s Coastal Cities

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