By Rupa Shenoy
In the late 1700s, when America was just an idea, some of Boston’s most prominent leaders gathered in a red brick building called Faneuil Hall to discuss rebellion from England. Today, the building is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Boston’s leaders hope it can serve as the symbol of a new revolution: a movement to accept that climate change is poised to have a major impact on coastal cities, and that those urban centers must take drastic steps to adapt and survive.
“We’re now as a city beginning to put together all the concerns — sea level rise, climate change, why these iconic historic buildings are threatened, and what we need to do to try to protect them,” said Boston Environment Commissioner Nancy Girard.
Like many, Girard said in 2012 Boston learned a harsh lesson when Superstorm Sandy happened to turn away from the city, and instead spread destruction along large swaths of New York. The wake-up call worked- Boston officials and area organizations began sketching out possible solutions, culminating in late May with a conference where experts and stakeholders debated options.