Preparing Transportation Systems for Climate Change

By Amanda Perez 11-12-13

Photo: EcoDistricts Summit Panel Credit: Mandy Cordero WEBN-Boston Reporter
Photo: EcoDistricts Summit Panel
Credit: Mandy Cordero WEBN-Boston Reporter

Urban sustainability leaders are planning for disaster. Rising sea levels caused by climate change may soon have a negative impact on transit systems. A summit was held at the recent Boston based Convention for the EcoDistrict to examine ways to keep the nation’s transportation systems safe.

A recent San Francisco case study was used a springboard for discussion. Experts created a subway disaster scenario to demonstrate how climate change can severely damage infrastructure. This graphically showed how at-risk transit systems are. Precautions that local systems can develop include enhanced storm drain systems, flood barriers, and emergency plans that local police can design for their city’s needs. EcoDistrict panelist Jessica Fosbrook hopes the study can prepare the urban transportation systems for the future.

“In terms of thinking of an existing transportation system, we don’t necessarily have to look at entirely new structures, you can look at upgrading certain pieces, you can look at perhaps creating new pieces if necessary, but certain parts can be very expensive but some of it could be a little more low cost. It definitely depends on the need of the transportation system,” said Fosbrook.