Green Space and The Environment
Climate change is a worldwide phenomenon that will directly or indirectly impact the health and well-being of us all. Climate change is not an abstract; it’s happening now, not at some time in the distant future. For the sake of our children and future generations, we have a responsibility to act boldly and with urgency. While Allston-Brighton may not see the direct impacts of rising sea levels, we will be impacted by prolonged periods of extreme temperatures; heatwaves; extreme precipitation with flooding; and more powerful. frequent and destructive storms.
The City of Boston has an ambitious goal of being carbon-neutral by 2050. Boston’s comprehensive 2019 Climate Action Plan will lay out in great detail how we will reach our goals for greenhouse gas emissions. To attain this ambitious goal, we as a neighborhood need to be working on two tracks:
- Building resiliency and mitigating the impacts of climate change
- Reducing carbon/greenhouse gas emissions to slow the pace of global warming
Climate Change Mitigation and Community Resilience
There is a great deal of climate-related work we can accomplish locally — and together:
- Preserve and expand our green spaces and plant mature trees, especially in areas of Allston-Brighton that have been rezoned from industrial to residential and/or commercial.
- Increase the number of shade trees along streets.
- Promote storm water management with permeable pavement, rain gardens and bioswales (which slow down runoff by absorbing and filtering rainwater).
- Decrease water usage for landscaping by encouraging more drought resistant, native plantings that do not require irrigation.
- Introduce citywide curbside composting to reduce the amount of organic matter from entering landfill.
Reducing Carbon Emissions
- Improve the MBTA and invest in a fully connected bicycle path network. These attainable goals represent the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective alternatives to driving cars.
- Establish dedicated MBTA bus lanes to reduce travel time, decrease traffic congestion, and encourage increased ridership.
- Increase availability of electric car charging stations throughout Allston-Brighton.
- Provide incentives for car sharing programs (such as Zipcar) to reduce the demands for parking.
- Through partnership with utility companies, expand existing programs to improve energy efficiency of older housing stock.
- Maximize energy efficiency of all new construction in Allston-Brighton, requiring net zero for all new, large developments
- Seek funding mechanisms to support an improved MBTA infrastructure.