Most cities seeking to prevent coastal flooding use walls and levees to keep water out. Others, such as Seattle and Charleston, SC instead are developing “floodable zones” that preserve the city’s access to its waterfront while minimizing damage when periodic flooding occurs. We believe this model may be more appropriate for Boston than building levees or flood gates. We seek to research and develop this approach for Boston’s waterfront.
When we succeed, Boston will be a model for creative “no regrets” adaptation to sea level rise that will provide substantial public amenities for the vast majority of the time while providing a first line of protection for the downtown during severe weather events.