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June 30, 2014

Can Port Authorities Save the Planet?

by adriaboynton

I’m shamelessly borrowing my title from a recent New York Times article.  The article begins with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, moves on to talk about the importance of estuaries and wetlands, and ends by pointing out the meaninglessness of geographical boundaries when issues like sea level rise don’t end at a single state’s border.  The article wraps up with this statement: “What we need are port authorities…These authorities are typically concerned with transportation infrastructure, but they can be reformed and placed in charge of overseeing development at the intersection of land and sea.”  The author suggests that Port Authorities could become leaders in environmentally conscious planning and restoration.  Read the full article here.

One of my main projects this summer involves designing a series of webpages about resilience, to be hosted on Massport’s official website.  During the last two weeks, I’ve been working with a web content manager to get my layouts and materials onto a test server for review before the site goes live.  We had a meeting last week to introduce the site and get feedback—it was the Massport equivalent of a crit.  Despite a brief, last-minute panic while setting up for the meeting (the projector wasn’t working! We couldn’t access the test server link! The department’s IT expert was out of the office all day!  Senior staff members got to the meeting early and witnessed everything!) the meeting itself went well and we got some great feedback.  In response to that feedback, I’m working on another round of editing before the site is introduced to Massport’s CEO, after which the webpages will go live mid-July.

Homepage DraftAn updated draft of the Resiliency Website homepage, now on Massport’s test server.

Now that my work on the website is further along, I’ve started researching existing resilient building standards in preparation for drafting a new set of resilient guidelines.  I’ll post more on that later, as the project evolves.

We’re also ramping up for our Resiliency Speaker Series, which begins on July 14th.  I designed a survey (keeping RISD’s end of semester evaluations in mind) to be handed out to attendees so that we can get feedback on the Series and on our Resiliency Program.

Survey JPEGResiliency Speaker Series survey.

And I’ll end this post with a great interactive map produced by Sasaki, as part of their Sea Change Boston project.  The map shows the impact of different sea level rise scenarios in the Boston area:



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