What can I do to make my home more resilient?

We hear this question a lot these days. As Boston area residents learn more about projected sea level rise and related extreme temperatures, a natural next step is to turn to that domain we can (mostly) control:  our homes. Homes — apartments, condos, triple deckers, and the like — are the essential building blocks of our neighborhoods. And most were built decades, if not centuries, before we had inklings of climate change. What’s a forward-looking resident (renter or owner) to do?

BAC Huxtables Resiliency Workshop_Page_01

Our beloved BAC “Huxtable Fellow” students have been on the ground in East Boston the past four months, analyzing predictions and compiling research, listening carefully to residents and their real situations, and looking closely at the real buildings where we live.  In deep collaboration with the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) and ULI’s “TAP” process, the Huxtables created a menu of actions that regular citizens might take to make their homes more resilient, and shared these ideas during a June neighborhood meeting.

See a pdf of their presentation here:  BAC Huxtables Resiliency Workshop

 

 

Building Resilience in East Boston

Growing from work begun at the 2014 ABX Living with Water design charrette, the CDRC is leading a group of six “Huxtable Fellows” from the Boston Architectural College in collaboration with NOAH (the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, an East Boston-based CDC) and ULI Boston (the Urban Land Institute) in community supported resiliency planning in East Boston.  NOAH and ULI are working together this year on a Kresge Foundation-funded initiative to help this neighborhood prepare for climate change and sea level rise, especially recognizing shared, community-scale infrastructure and long term vision.  The CDRC/Huxtable work joins this effort at the immediate, grassroots scale.  With a particular focus on one- to four-unit wood frame and masonry structures, the undergraduate and graduate students are creating analytical maps to see which areas are most vulnerable to rising seas, and then going out in the field to survey buildings and talk with residents and small business owners.

The Huxtables are talking with renters and owners, builders and real estate agents, youth and the elderly to develop a personal as well as analytical understanding of neighborhood needs and priorities.  Ultimately, they will create a menu of actions that residents can take TODAY to make their homes and businesses more resilient in the face of sea level rise, extreme heat and cold: the extreme weather associated with climate change.

Please join us as the Huxtables share drafts in a community workshop: 

6pm, June 10, 2015 at the East Boston branch library.

This is funded in part by the BSA Foundation.

2015-03-13 12.56.05 photo5 eastie_banner_500

Building resilience in East Boston

Growing from work begun at the 2014 ABX Living with Water design charrette, the CDRC is leading a group of six “Huxtable Fellows” from the Boston Architectural College in collaboration with NOAH (the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, an East Boston-based CDC) and ULI Boston (the Urban Land Institute) in community supported resiliency planning in East Boston.  NOAH and ULI are working together this year on a Kresge Foundation-funded initiative to help this neighborhood prepare for climate change and sea level rise, especially recognizing shared, community-scale infrastructure and long term vision.  The CDRC/Huxtable work joins this effort at the immediate, grassroots scale.  With a particular focus on one- to four-unit wood frame and masonry structures, the undergraduate and graduate students are creating analytical maps to see which areas are most vulnerable to rising seas, and then going out in the field to survey buildings and talk with residents and small business owners.

The Huxtables are talking with renters and owners, builders and real estate agents, youth and the elderly to develop a personal as well as analytical understanding of neighborhood needs and priorities.  Ultimately, they will create a menu of actions that residents can take TODAY to make their homes and businesses more resilient in the face of sea level rise, extreme heat and cold: the extreme weather associated with climate change.

Please join us as the Huxtables share drafts in a community workshop: 

6pm, June 10, 2015 at the East Boston branch library.

This is funded in part by the BSA Foundation.

2015-03-13 12.56.05 photo5 eastie_banner_500

Please join us – October 29, 1-4pm +

Calling all Boston-area designers, scientists, activists, and citizens —

Please join us for the CDRC’s third annual public design charrette at ArchitectureBoston Expo.  This year’s topic:

LIVING WITH WATER

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It’s a familiar refrain: if Superstorm Sandy had hit a few hours earlier (or later), Boston would have flooded all the way to City Hall.  Seas are rising, storm severity is increasing, and coastal cities need to grapple with an increasingly wet world.

“Living With Water” resilient design, popularized in The Netherlands and elsewhere, is part of the solution. On Sandy’s second anniversary, join us for a hands-on design workshop to imagine how a future, wetter Boston will be different–and maybe even better.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

charrette kickoff:  1pm

reception & team presentations: 4pm

ABX session SB2

part of ArchitectureBoston Expo

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Hall C

415 Summer Street, Boston, MA  02210

Free and open to the public, but space is limited. Registration is required.  To RSVP, visit www.abexpo.com/exhibit-hall/design-charrette.  Architects may earn continuing education credits through self-report.

The LIVING WITH WATER DESIGN CHARRETTE is hosted by the Community Design Resource Center in partnership with The Boston Harbor Association and the Boston Society of Architects.

The CHARRETTE is conducted in conjunction with the Boston Living with Water International Design Competition, organized by The Boston Harbor Association, the City of Boston, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Boston Society of Architects, with generous support from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Barr Foundation.

The International Design Competition will launch at the Charrette — October 29 — the two year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.  Participants may choose to participate in the Charrette and/or the Competition.  Please note that registration two the two events is separate, and participation in one does not affect participation in the other.  The Charrette offers the opportunity for designers to explore Living with Water concepts, that they might develop in-depth for the Competition.  The CDRC aims to use materials generated at the Charrette to create neighborhood-based workshops in 2015, AND add another layer to the lively civic discussion about resiliency already underway.

DSC_5254

Both photos: Long Wharf, Boston, at “Wicked High Tide” — the twice-monthly lunar high tide, September 2014

Join us! Oct 29, 1-4pm+

Calling all Boston-area designers, scientists, activists, and citizens —

Please join us for the CDRC’s third annual public design charrette at ArchitectureBoston Expo.  This year’s topic:

LIVING WITH WATER

It’s a familiar refrain: if Superstorm Sandy had hit a few hours earlier (or later), Boston would have flooded all the way to City Hall.  Seas are rising, storm severity is increasing, and coastal cities need to grapple with an increasingly wet world.

“Living With Water” resilient design, popularized in The Netherlands and elsewhere, is part of the solution. On Sandy’s second anniversary, join us for a hands-on design workshop to imagine how a future, wetter Boston will be different–and maybe even better.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

charrette kickoff:  1pm

reception & team presentations: 4pm

ABX session SB2

part of ArchitectureBoston Expo

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Hall C

415 Summer Street, Boston, MA  02210

Free and open to the public, but space is limited. Registration is required.  To RSVP, visit www.abexpo.com/exhibit-hall/design-charrette.  Architects may earn continuing education credits through self-report.

The LIVING WITH WATER DESIGN CHARRETTE is hosted by the Community Design Resource Center in partnership with The Boston Harbor Association and the Boston Society of Architects.

The CHARRETTE is conducted in conjunction with the Boston Living with Water International Design Competition, organized by The Boston Harbor Association, the City of Boston, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Boston Society of Architects, with generous support from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Barr Foundation.

The International Design Competition will launch at the Charrette — October 29 — the two year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.  Participants may choose to participate in the Charrette and/or the Competition.  Please note that registration two the two events is separate, and participation in one does not affect participation in the other.  The Charrette offers the opportunity for designers to explore Living with Water concepts, that they might develop in-depth for the Competition.  The CDRC aims to use materials generated at the Charrette to create neighborhood-based workshops in 2015, AND add another layer to the lively civic discussion about resiliency already underway.

DSC_5254

Both photos: Long Wharf, Boston, at “Wicked High Tide” — the twice-monthly lunar high tide, September 2014

PJK School Yard

Existing view of the PJKennedy school yard, as it meets the Bennington Street sidewalk, East Boston.

Existing view of the PJKennedy school yard, as it meets the Bennington Street sidewalk, East Boston.

Over the past year, the CDRC has been organizing a big and growing group of collaborators to help the PJKennedy Elementary School in East Boston create a new vision for the asphalt that surrounds their school building.  The PJK is a Boston Public School, serving approximately 300 students from pre-K to 5th grade, most of whom live in the surrounding neighborhood.  This asphalt is at once playgound, gymnasium, auditorium, science classroom, parking lot, bus dropoff and parent waiting area,  as well as a neighborhood gathering space in all seasons.  In the future the PJK schoolyard will still do all that — but in much more appropriate ways.  Gardens are coming, too.  The PJK is a Level 1 school, among the top academic performers in Massachusetts.  The area outside the school should reflect and support the school’s wonderful internal activity.

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In fall 2012 and spring 2013, Boston Architectural College students met with students, parents, and administrators as they analyzed existing conditions and proposed a variety of ideas for the overall area.  They then “zoomed in” to design prototype benches, planters, and a big custom sign for the parents’ pickup/dropoff area, at historic front of the school.  The CDRC hopes to construct the first prototypes this summer.

Site Design web-6mer.

entrance cover

entrance cover

Meanwhile, this work was noticed by the Boston chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, who selected the PJK as the focus “ACE Mentor Legacy” project for the upcoming ASLA national meeting, to be held in Boston in November 2013.  There will be lots happening this upcoming academic year!  Find out the latest here.

June 2013: Preliminary site plan by BSLA volunteers to guide preparations for the fall ACE Mentor Legacy Project. Picking up on the overall organization suggested by the Boston Architectural College students, this plan features basketball and soccer fields, several age- and ability-appropriate play areas, and new planted mounds and terraces.