by Jay Wickersham FAIA / March 8, 2018
Image courtesy of Boston Harbor Now.
On March 2 a gale flooded parts of downtown Boston for the second time this winter. The BSA had to close BSA Space at Atlantic Wharf; an AquaFence system of mobile flood walls was set up as a barricade around the building.
BSA Space was lucky to survive the third-highest tide in Boston’s recorded history without damage. The waters of the Fort Point Channel didn’t quite reach our building. Others in the Boston region weren’t so lucky. Alongside images of waves crashing into beachfront houses, we saw repeat of the images from the January gale: downtown streets and parks turned into rivers and lakes; buildings standing as marooned islands in East Boston and the Long Wharf and the North End.
Scientists have been warning us of these flood threats for decades. Our buildings and our economy run on carbon. That carbon is slowly, almost imperceptibly, causing the global climate to warm and the seas to rise. When a storm hits, those tiny changes become big and visible and potentially devastating to a coastal city like Boston.