SCAPE worked with the City of Boston to develop solutions to equitably reduce coastal flood risk in Dorchester, the largest and most diverse neighborhood in Boston. In collaboration with a large team, SCAPE focused on strategies that enhance access and mobility, promote the health of valuable ecosystems, and reinforce a connected, cohesive sense of place.
The Dorchester shoreline stretches 9.5 miles along Boston Harbor and the Neponset River. Open space, marshland, and parks line the waterfront, but these spaces are not connected to each other or to adjacent inland communities. Today, only limited points of access remain, and these align with major inundation pathways. Climate Ready Dorchester expands the vision for the future of the Dorchester shoreline, offering strategies to adapt to coastal flood risk while also establishing a framework to connect the waterfront parks, beaches, and marshes in Dorchester, transforming them into one accessible, continuous waterfront – The Dorchester Shoreway.
The Dorchester Shoreway consists of strategic flood protection interventions at critical flood pathways to protect from coastal flooding while increasing neighborhood access. They prioritize natural and nature-based features to reduce wave action and erosion while preserving or enhancing valuable ecosystems.
To inform the decision-making process behind various resilience strategies, the SCAPE team held a series of community and stakeholder engagement sessions including two open houses and attendance to numerous existing neighborhood meetings, all designed to educate and involve attendees beyond the typical ‘information session’-style event. As part of these sessions, SCAPE developed a range of materials, including flipbooks, boards, plans, physical models, sections, and axons, to illustrate benefits, trade-offs and programmatic opportunities associated with design alternatives.
Together, the coastal resilience solutions proposed in the Climate Ready Dorchester report are a cohesive, layered approach to physical resilience that prioritizes the social and ecological resilience of Dorchester’s coastal communities.
- City of Boston, Department of the Environment, Energy and Open Space
All Aces, Inc.
Woods Hole Group