(MEDFORD)—In celebration of Earth Month, Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn and the Office of Planning, Development and Sustainability released the final version of the City’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan today.
The plan outlines Medford’s course of action for addressing climate change, and the steps the City will take immediately and over the next decade for creating an increasingly resilient, just, and carbon-neutral future in Medford. The plan includes 32 strategies across four focus areas: Buildings & Energy, Ecosystems & Environment, Public Health, and Transportation. Collectively, the strategies outline the key steps that will allow the City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, build our resilience to growing climate hazards, advance environmental justice, and create a city where all residents can benefit from a more sustainable future.
The plan sets new goals for future efforts, like expanding renewable energy sources, providing tools for property owners and tenants to prepare for climate hazards, as well as expands on ongoing work like protecting and growing our tree canopy, creating safer roads for walking and biking, investing in stormwater maintenance, addressing food insecurity, and increasing local food system resilience.
“This document is our guide to creating a green, sustainable future for Medford that protects both our environment and community,” Mayor Lungo-Koehn said. “We’ve been making substantial progress in mitigating the effects of climate change but with the help of this plan we are taking real steps to ensure that Medford is a leader in climate action.”
Last fall the City released a 36-page executive summary as well as a draft version of the Climate Action and Adaption Plan for public review.
“We’re no longer in a position to debate whether or not climate change is occurring—it’s here and we need to have a plan in place that will address its effects and enable the City and the community to grow and thrive for future generations,” Planning, Development and Sustainability Director Alicia Hunt said. “This action plan is the result of hours and hours of work from a dedicated group of people who genuinely care about the future of Medford and don’t want to see our City fall behind in the race to net zero. Thank you to Mayor Lungo-Koehn, the staff at City Hall and the countless community members who all made this document possible.”
While this report is a roadmap for policy and project ideas in the future, the City has already been working to address climate change and prepare the community for a green and renewable future.
Ongoing work that relates to the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan includes but is not limited to:
Buildings & Energy
Working to hire a qualified Facilities Maintenance Manager to oversee all municipal facilities, including preventative maintenance
Installed solar panels at DPW, Library, and Police Station
Updated lighting at 4 of the fire stations and Tufts Pool house to all LED
Ecosystems & Natural Environment
Expanding the City’s tree canopy with $280,000 allocated for planting in low- and moderate-income areas, $90,000 in CPA funding for public parks, increased tree planting funds in FY22 budget
Working to update the city’s stormwater regulations
Launched the “Adopt a catch basin” program and supported the Mystic River Watershed Association to expand it to other communities in our watershed
Investing $325,000 to remove tree stumps and plant new trees
Installed 19 micro food pantries
Pledged to be hunger free by 2025
Launched a Multilingual Resource Line
Created a social justice road map
Launched a curbside composting program
Installed Medford’s first dedicated bus lane on Mystic Ave.
In the process of bringing a bike share program to Medford
Expanding/adding dedicated bike lanes citywide
Expanding EV charging stations citywide
The development of the Plan was made possible in part by a Planning Grant and an Action Grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program, particularly for early planning and development and outreach and engagement with environmental justice communities in Medford.