As the landscape architecture subconsultant to Utile, Offshoots helped develop Boston’s first Coastal Resilience Design Guidelines and recommendations for a citywide zoning overlay. The new design guidelines apply to existing and future developments, ensuring buildings and their landscapes are built or adapted to withstand the flooding risks posed by sea level rise and storm surge. These will be enabled by the future zoning overlay which covers areas with a 1% chance of coastal flooding in 2070.
The Guidelines are designed to work with several initiatives the City of Boston is moving forward with as part of Climate Ready Boston, including neighborhood plans, public right-of-way guidance, and existing zoning. With the need for retrofits in mind, the Guidelines include case studies with short- and long-term adaptation strategies tailored to work for each of the most common building types in the floodplain, illustrated clearly and effectively using a clear palette of graphics. The zoning recommendations enable the implementation of these improvements while balancing private needs with impacts on the public realm.