Weston & Sampson led the RMAT Technical Support project for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The first of its kind, this project’s goals included monitoring and tracking the 2018 State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan (SHMCAP) implementation process and advancing its priorities.
Weston & Sampson served as lead technical consultant in the development of statewide climate resilience standards and guidelines that integrate specific climate resilience actions into state and municipal capital planning efforts through a web-based tool. This free, interactive GIS-based application enables users to create a project online and receive data-driven output within 15 minutes. After users outline their project location on a map and answer questions related to the overall project, the web-based tool outputs a preliminary climate exposure and ecosystem services benefits score for the overall project and identifies preliminary climate risk ratings and recommended design standards for each asset.
Our intention is that the preliminary ratings and recommended design standards available through the tool be applied during a project’s planning or design phase. Additional resources and guidelines offered through this application can also help users consider site suitability, regional coordination, and flexible adaptation pathways. WIth this tool, outputs are summarized in a project report that can be attached to grant applications (e.g., MVP Action Grants) and Requests for Proposals.
Critical project efforts also included comprehensive public engagement to ensure that all project stakeholders were heard. The robust engagement process included working group meetings, public workshops, an open public comment period, and web-based tool training.
The Climate Resilience Design Standards & Guidelines (available at www.ResilientMA.org) are grounded in scientific methodology and best available data; they integrate existing practices/procedures, establish clear guidance that can be applied across project types, and develop adaptable deliverables for a range of users and climate hazards. In addition, since the RMAT’s web-based tool uses global climate models, many of these methodologies can also be applied in other states; with this flexibility, the benefits are far-reaching.
- climate change resilience
- stakeholder engagement
- web-based tool development
- design standards and guidelines
- ecosystem services benefits