Extending 9.5 miles from Moakley Park to the beloved Neponset River Reservation and Greenway, the waterfront of Dorchester—Boston’s largest and most diverse neighborhood—is incredibly varied. It is also at increasing risk from a number of climate-intensified factors, from sea-level rise and king tides to severe stormwater flooding.
From 2019 to 2020, SCAPE collaborated with the City of Boston on Climate Ready Dorchester, one of several neighborhood-level plans examining opportunities for storm and sea-level rise risk reduction across the city’s wider harbor, for which SCAPE also collaboratively developed a wider open space vision: the Resilient Boston Harbor Vision.
In 2023, SCAPE is excited to share that we’re continuing our collaboration to design resilient climate solutions for the Dorchester waterfront with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) alongside the City of Boston, advancing a component of the original vision into schematic design. Focused primarily on the extent of shoreline along Tenean Beach and the Conley Street underpass—a critical flood entry point for Dorchester—this project will further analyze site conditions and develop implementable options to reduce risk for the adjacent communities from sea-level rise, coastal storms, and future flood events.
Led by SCAPE, the team also includes prior collaborators Tetra Tech and Woods Hole Group. Weaving in and out of the waterfront, all design options will be closely coordinated with multiple agencies, including the City of Boston Environment Department, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT), and others. The current phase of the project is funded through the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management’s (CZM) Coastal Resilience Grant Program, serving as a design model for flood protection measures elsewhere along the state’s vulnerable shorelines.
Note: The image included is from the 2020 Climate Ready Dorchester vision—one of the precedent projects for this study, which will develop prior concepts into implementable proposals for flood risk reduction.