Medford Parks and Open Space for Climate Resilience

River in Medford


Promoting Smart Growth & Regional Planning

MAY 2019

Medford Parks and Open Space for Climate Resilience

The project was conducted by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) with funding from the City of Medford and Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Grant as part of its 2019 Open Space and Recreation Plan.

Using the latest climate science and data and ongoing City climate vulnerability assessments, we evaluate the climatic, geomorphological, and environmental conditions of the City’s park system, spatially analyze how the park system intersects with key components of the City’s infrastructure, vulnerable populations, and ecological resources, and create design recommendations that enhance climate resilience across Medford’s people, places, and environment.

The climate risks that cause Medford the most significant vulnerability are inland flooding from extreme precipitation events, extreme heat, sea level rise with storm surge in the late century and extreme weather events such as nor’easters, hurricanes, and ice storms.

The following are identified as key strategies for successful green infrastructure in park system planning:

  • Engage communities on the benefits and designs of green infrastructure;
  • Maximize the benefits of green infrastructure solutions within a physically connected network;
  • Enable equitable access to parks and green infrastructure within system planning; and
  • Specify actions and funding sources to effectively implement at scale.