Chelsea Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Report

In Chelsea, a man tries to get out of his car as a mix of snow and water flood it past its tires.


Promoting Smart Growth & Regional Planning

MAY 2018

City of Chelsea Community Resilience Building: Summary of Findings

The City of Chelsea received a grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to participate in the Commonwealth's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program. The program provides support for municipalities to plan and implement key climate resilience actions using a community-based, multi-disciplinary, participatory planning effort.

Participants in the workshop brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise from their diverse local experiences and fields. Each group identified the City's social, environmental, and infrastructure-related vulnerabilities and identified actions to address them.

The group identified the following as areas of concern:





The Waterfront Senior citizens Stormwater infrastructure Littering
Tobin Bridge/Route 1 Viaduct Linguistically isolated residents Schools located in flood zone Air quality
Island End River Neighborhood commercial area Students Emergency and public transportation Water quality
Shurtleff-Bellingham neighborhood Chelsea residents working in Boston Seaport Senior center Toxic exposure with industrial waterfront uses
Western waterfront contaminated area Low income individuals Medical facilities/hospitals Shoreline erosion
Bellingham Square Renters Housing Authority facilities
Addison Neighborhood The Learning Center

Top Recommendations to Improve Resilience


  • Perform an evaluation of drainage/ stormwater infrastructure, which is old yet critically important.
  • Pilot resilience actions at Public Housing including white roofs, solar panels, trees, and parks.
  • Prioritize resilience actions for the Regional Food Distribution Center either with relocation or creating an earthen berm to stop flooding.
  • Create regulations that incorporate green infrastructure and building resilience (such as raising critical systems) in all development.


  • Create an evacuation plan for the whole City of Chelsea for emergencies.
  • Protect people and students now-students are the future.
  • Provide multi-lingual communication services for emergencies.
  • Create innovative strategies for outreach and education on climate change that are multi-lingual. One example is creating neighborhood block leaders and letters, especially for emergencies.


  • Prioritize stormwater management
  • Plant trees in places with high heat, important for air quality in places with flood risk
  • Convert unused parking lots and impervious surfaces into parks and green space with more trees
  • Engage MassPort to provide funding for environmental projects for MassPort land and City land, as mitigation to the air and noise pollution from Logan Aiport