Promoting Smart Growth & Regional Planning
City of Newton Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Action Plan
We can take steps to increase Newton’s resilience and limit future damages from climate change. Many of today’s investments and decisions in the City of Newton have long legacies that will influence future vulnerabilities. Of particular concern are the impacts on vulnerable populations in Newton including seniors, individuals living alone, people with a disability, young children, people who are socially isolated, and people with limited English language proficiency.
Advance planning can save money, while inaction, or actions that don’t anticipate future conditions, may lead to higher costs in the future. An example of effective planning comes from the reports that Florida properties experienced much less damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017 than from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. This is attributed to critical improvements made to the building code because of lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew.
This report identifies future climate vulnerabilities and suggests strategies for the City of Newton that can reduce the risk of harm to people, properties, and natural resources and help speed recovery when inevitable future storms occur. The recommendations span many areas and range from easy and quick to difficult and expensive. They include such areas as:
- Communicating with and supporting vulnerable populations
- Improving stormwater systems and restoring natural drainage
- Planting more trees
- Continuing and improving emergency preparedness
- Investing in critical infrastructure (e.g. bridges and culverts)
- Incorporating green infrastructure and stormwater management into the zoning ordinances as they are revised.