Northeast
The pavilion at Carson Beach across from Joe Moakley Park on a calm day. With climate change threatening to inundate low-lying Dorchester, the city is planning a redesign of the park that combines recreation and community gathering places with flood protection.

Planning For Climate Change, Some Dorchester Activists Focus On Building Networks To Neighbors

Boston has announced long-term infrastructure and development plans to protect people and property from the impacts of climate change, but some residents of Dorchester — a low-lying neighborhood with the largest population in the city — have a different strategy in mind: asking people to get to know their neighbors.

With a problem as complex as climate change, the suggestion to increase social connections may seem trivial. But residents of Dorchester say they have already experienced the floods that are expected to increase in the coming years. Strengthening neighborhood connections won’t stop the water, but some advocates say it could be critical for responding when the water comes.

Maria Lyons, environment chair of the Port Norfolk Civic Association and a board member of the Neponset River Watershed Association, said encouraging people to get to know their neighbors to understand their unique needs is essential for disaster management.

“It’s absolutely important, especially in places that are geographically isolated, like where I live in Port Norfolk,” she said. “During one of the big storms last year, the roads were so flooded I couldn’t get home from work. What if more homes are cut off next time?”

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