Resilient Urbanism


Down-Zoning Boston

The Resilience Districts Boston introduces a new zoning tool for adapting the Greater Boston Area to climate change. Developed by the MIT Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism, "Resilience Districts" serve as a governance structure for mitigating and pooling systemic risks, capturing agglomeration benefits, and providing a potential framework for metropolitan resettlement. Through maps, diagrams, and drawings, a working method is outlined and nine Resilience Districts are identified within the Greater Boston Area. Each Resilience District is analyzed to inform a series of district-wide urban design strategies that reflect regional flood exposure, local land use designations, and neighborhood development opportunities.  A Resilient District includes 1) the protection of critical infrastructure, 2) "up-zoning" of high grounds, 3) the creation gof a "thick and redundant" line of infrastructure, and 4) "down-zoning" low lying areas. These down-zones are areas often built on reclaimed lands or fill, and as such they offer and opportunity for a new flexible forms of dynamic programming, uses, and open spaces provisions that operate along shifting gradients of inundation.

Fadi Masoud, Alan Berger, Jonah Susskind, Mario Giampieri, Xinhui Li, Matthew Spremulli, Michael Wilson.