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New Boston development rules aim to mitigate climate change effects

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City testing requirements over two years for projects of various sizes

Keith J Finks/Shutterstock

The Boston Planning & Development Agency on June 14 passed new rules to mitigate the effects of climate change on new developments.

The rules will be tested over two years and will affect different developments in different ways based on size, per the Globe’s Jon Chesto. For instance, projects of at least 50,000 square feet will need extra wiring and other technology for so-called smart traffic signals and street lights if the developments require such devices.

And projects above 100,000 square feet will have to have ways of retaining more rainfall than currently required so as to prevent runoff during storms. To give you an idea of how many projects this one rule would affect, the BPDA received 39 applications last year for projects of at least 100,000 square feet.

As for the truly monumental Boston projects, those running to at least 1.5 million square feet, the BPDA now wants developers to consider installing on-site power plants. And all their wiring, including for telecom services, will have to be bundled in one underground tube to reduce any disruption from repairs.

Developers had input on the rules, and some projects are already taking them into account, including at Suffolk Downs.