MIT climate resilience planning: flood vulnerability study.

Published online
10 Jul 2019
Content type

Strzepek, K. & Fant, C. & Preston, M. & Emanuel, K. & Goldberg, B.

Publication language


The MIT Flood Vulnerability Study is one key part of a broader initiative led by the MIT Climate Resiliency Committee and the MIT Office of Sustainability to understand and recommend how MIT can continue to fulfill its mission in the face of intensifying climate risks over the next 100 years and beyond. Risks include precipitation flooding, sea level rise/storm surge and chronic heat stress. This study seeks to translate the science of campus-based flooding risk from climate change into operational and strategic guidance for informing campus planning and management. Inspired by the MIT Plan for Action on Climate Change, one key research and academic objective of this study is to utilize the MIT campus as a test bed for climate innovation. The study engages MIT's global research expertise in downscaling global MIT climate models for application testing on the MIT campus, as well as expertise and tools advancing the MIT Stormwater Management and Landscape Ecology Plan. This Joint Program Report presents findings for Flood and Vulnerability Study Phase 1A - Evaluation of Precipitation Probabilities and Preliminary Campus Flood Risks. The primary purpose of Phase 1A is to quantify MIT Cambridge campus flood risks under current and future climate change conditions over a range of probabilities. Findings include predicted precipitation probabilities, campus flooding exposure from precipitation based on current and future climate conditions, campus flooding exposure from sea level rise and storm surges, and results from the testing of one potential flood mitigation solution. The co-authors conclude the report by outlining planning recommendations and next steps.

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