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The Future of Boston

Boston Harbor could change drastically due to climate change
Boston Harbor could change drastically due to climate change
Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

What will the future of Boston look like? How will climate change really affect Massachusetts? These questions and more were discussed last week at Weathering the Storm: Boston's Future Climate hosted by The Nature Conservancy. Speakers included: Adam Freed of The Nature Conservancy; Vivien Li, president of the Boston Harbor Association; Brian Swett of the City of Boston; and Vicki Arroyo of the Georgetown Climate Center.

Here are some takeaways from the event:

-If sea level was to rise 7.5 feet, a hurricane like Sandy (if it were to hit Boston,) would flood 60% of the city.

-The Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant is an example of sustainability - it was build 2' above the 100 year flood level, has wind turbines and solar panels on site, and an operations team is researching methane recapture.

-The new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is another example of smart architecture for a warmer future. Their resilient design was developed after seeing the pros and cons of the hospital facilities design in New Orleans during Katrina. (Like, don't keep the backup generator in the basement!)

-Boston is the 4th most susceptible city in the U.S. to sea level rise, after New York, New Orleans, and Miami.

-2012 was the hottest year on record by a full degree.

Learn more here.

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