The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) has been working to advance the climate resilience objectives of the 2016 Climate Ready Boston plan. One of the primary goals of Climate Ready is to promote adapted buildings that will function to limit damage and displacement related to the impacts of a changing climate.
Among the most significant climate risks facing Boston is the danger to people and property from coastal flooding, which is predicted to increase over time with rising sea levels. To address this risk Climate Ready directed the BPDA to develop a set of design guidelines and a zoning overlay district to promote coastal flood resilience in vulnerable areas of the City.
In 2019 the BPDA developed and adopted Coastal Flood Resilience Design Guidelines for new construction and building retrofits, as well as recommendations for a Flood Resiliency Zoning Overlay District. The Guidelines provide best practices for flood resistant design and are intended to be administered by BPDA staff for the review of projects within a proposed Flood Resilience Zoning Overlay District.
Adopted into the Zoning Code in October 2021, Article 25A Coastal Flood Resilience Overlay District (CFROD) works to protect persons and structures from the adverse effects of sea level rise and storm surge associated with climate change. The CFROD and zoning map relate to areas of the City of Boston anticipated to be flooded with a 1% chance storm event in 2070 with 40-inches of sea level rise, formalize the implementation of the Design Guidelines, and establish sea level rise design flood elevations for new construction and retrofits. The CFROD defines the purpose and scope of the overlay, the proposed use and dimensional regulations that will apply to projects within it and procedures for review of projects subject to Article 80 of the zoning code.
Per Article 25A a Resilience Reviewer will advise the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) on project compliance with the City's climate resilience policies and requirements. See Article25A section 25A-4 for project applicability. Compliance reviews occur at two project phases coinciding with Article 80 review: Initial Filing and Design/Building Permit Filing (see Resilience Review Procedures and Submittal Requirements).
The following documents are provided below to guide and assist project proponents in complying with these regulations and policies:
Resilience Review Procedures and Submittal Requirements
Coastal Flood Resilience Design Guidelines
Sea Level Rise - Flood Hazard Area Mapping Tool
Climate Resiliency Report Online Reporting Form