Home – Boston Climate Group ’14

Preparing Chelsea, Massachusetts to Better Adapt to Climate Change

Jillian Hennessy, Keith Guay, Lauren Richard, Santiago Rojas


The City of Chelsea is susceptible to climate change and its impacts due to the increased risk of flooding, increased storm severity, and increased number of extreme heat events. Our team provided, created, and validated a set of guidance documents for the City of Chelsea’s Planning Board, Zoning Board, and Conservation Commission with the support of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant College Program. These documents were designed to inform the boards about climate change and its impacts, provide a list of physical and socioeconomic vulnerabilities of the city, provide questions to ask developers, and highlight mitigation and adaptation strategies that could be implemented in the Everett Avenue area. We analyzed geographic data and conducted interviews in order to help create these guidance documents. These guidance documents are a first step for expanding climate change considerations to all buildings and areas of Chelsea. Our recommendations addressed the effective use of the guidance documents and the steps that should be taken in the future to expand upon this project to further address climate change on a city and state level.

Project Goal

The goal of our project was to better prepare the City’s Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Conservation Commission for the impacts of climate change. We focused on the Everett Ave. Urban Renewal District through a set of guidance documents. These documents will aid the boards in better adapting new developments to climate change in the Everett Ave. area. Identifying the information to include in the guidance documents required literature research, interviews with city officials and developers, and analysis of this information.


Our objectives to we used to complete our goal were:

  • Identify climate change vulnerabilities and risks in the Everett Avenue area of Chelsea, MA through analysis of existing literature and the creation of geographical maps
  •  Determine the informational needs of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Conservation Commission related to climate change and adaptation
  • Use the information gathered in first and second objective to create a usable document to provide climate change and adaptation information for the boards