Boston announces international design contest for flood defences
The City of Boston has promised an international design competition for a series of new flood defences
The competition will seek ‘creative and innovative’ design ideas to boost climate change resilience around three waterfront sites at risk from flooding.
The project aims to identify implementable planning and design solutions to protect the Massachusetts capital from coastal floods and future sea-level-rise.
Proposals may also suggest new recreation areas, marsh habitats and community facilities.
The announcement coincides with the launch of a report by the Boston Harbor Association and Sasaki Associates featuring case studies on climate change resilient schemes from around the world.
It also comes just months after Danish architecture outfit BIG was awarded $335 million to proceed with its competition-winning plans to protect New York against future floods.
Boston has already seen sea levels rise 300 millimetres in the past century and it is expected the waters could increase a further 1.8 metres by the year 2100.
Boston mayor Martin Walsh said: ‘The City of Boston continues to be a national leader on climate preparedness. This design competition will bring concepts and ideas from around the world, such as those in the Boston Harbor Association’s new report, to fruition in Boston.’
Boston Harbor Association executive director Julie Wormser said: ‘While extreme flooding is generally a new problem for Boston, cities such as Amsterdam, Hamburg and Seoul have had decades, even centuries, of learning how to allow flooding without damage occurring.’
She continued: ‘These cities have recognized that it is financially, culturally, and ecologically beneficial to work with water, instead of fighting to keep every last drop out.’
The competition – backed by the City of Boston, Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Boston Harbor Association – is expected to launch this autumn.