Promoting integrated land-use planning for sustainability and climate resilience in Massachusetts
Goals for sustainability, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation in Massachusetts portend significant transformation of the landscape in the next decades.
Coordination of policies and plans that drive land use choices will be necessary for Massachusetts to meet its goals for sustainability and climate resilience, including equity and racial justice, functional and resilient ecosystems, food security, housing security, economic security and vitality, and public health and community well-being.
Land is central to achieving these goals. Land is required for housing and generation and transmission of energy. Open space plays a critical role in resilient ecosystems, public health and livable communities, and climate resilient infrastructure. Land is necessary for farming in both rural and urban communities.
Achieving multiple goals may require trade-offs among sectors, such as agriculture, energy, water management, forests, residential development, and climate resilience, in inter-connected urban and rural systems. What is gained and what is lost? Who decides these trade-offs and what are the equity and land justice implications?
With funding from the National Science Foundation, we are working to:
Characterize civil society organizations and government agencies, policies, and activities that impact land use for energy, food, housing, open space and conservation, cultural heritage, etc.
Explore how the “lenses” of land use and landscapes reveals opportunities and challenges for integrated regional planning that can support sustainability and climate resilience in MA.
Civil society whose work impacts land-use and landscapes in Massachusetts