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Wake-Up Call! Boston Developers Learn Lessons From Sandy

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The threat to the Hub's waterfront posed by rising sea levels is well-known. It portends an environmental catastrophe of the highest order.

The economic threat posed by rising sea levels (O.K., we'll say it: due to climate change that's due to man-made global warming) is well-known, too. Ambitious initiatives like the redevelopment of the East Boston waterfront could be literally washed away.

Developers are getting more and more wise to the situation, and are working with local governments to prepare. And it's not necessarily the gradual encroachment of the sea that's got them fretting: It's that gradual encroachment + the possibility of a mega-storm like Sandy landing. That October 2012 storm smashed into the New York City area and rendered dozens of commercial buildings, as well as hundreds of homes, uninhabitable for weeks. It also tossed about Gotham's public transit system like board-game dice (some train lines are still dealing with the fallout).

"We can't allow ourselves to look the other way and end up in the same situation as lower Manhattan after Sandy," developer Don Chiofaro told The Globe's Casey Ross. As to what's to actually happen to combat the effects of rising sea levels on waterfront development, that remains to be seen. It's likely some mix of regulation, paid for by the city or by developers, and self-policing through design changes. Stay tuned.
· Rising Water Levels Threaten Boston's Waterfront [Globe]
· Nobody Panic, But Boston Could Drown Any Decade Now [Curbed Boston]
· Menino's East Boston Development Plans Literally Sinking [Curbed Boston]