The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) has released a draft zoning overlay that will require new development and retrofits to take additional steps to limit the damage and displacement related to the impacts of coastal storms and sea level rise. The zoning overlay will promote resilient planning and design, provide consistent standards for the review of projects, and maximize the benefits of investments in coastal resilience.
The Coastal Flood Resilience Zoning Overlay District will apply to areas of the City that could be inundated during a major coastal storm event, known as a 1 percent chance flood event, with 40-inches of sea level rise. Based upon climate modeling, 40-inches of sea level rise is expected between 2070 and 2100, which is within the usable life of most buildings currently undergoing BPDA review. The 40-inch inundation area is integrated into the BPDA Zoning Viewer.
Chris Busch, AICP
Chris Busch serves as the Assistant Deputy Director for Climate Change and Environmental Planning at the BPDA, Boston’s economic development and planning agency. Mr. Busch is involved with the management of the BPDA’s climate preparedness and waterfront planning initiatives that include the basic functions of community planning, urban design, zoning and climate resiliency planning.