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SustainaVille: Creating a resilient & carbon neutral Somerville

“One of the things that makes me most proud of Somerville is that we are always ready to take on the most pressing issues we face as a society. Climate change is one of those issues. Our community has rallied to support citywide carbon reduction goals. Our residents are choosing to walk, ride, bike, and roll in record numbers. When we offer programs to go solar or greener, people and businesses step up. This is the determination and the momentum that I promise to continue to build on as your Mayor – and I’ll need you beside me.” – Mayor Ballantyne

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About SustainaVille

SustainaVille is home to the City of Somerville’s programs and initiatives to reduce Somerville’s contribution to climate change and to develop our city’s ability to prepare for the impacts of climate change. On this page, you can learn about SustainaVille initiatives and how you can get involved in climate action.

Sustainability and environmental stewardship are important values to the Somerville community and are clearly articulated in SomerVision, the city’s comprehensive plan. Through SustainaVille, we are upholding these values by working collectively to advance sustainability and climate resilience within our city government and throughout the Somerville community. This work is being done across city departments and in partnership with community stakeholders. Together we’re slowing climate change and building a healthy, safe, and thriving Somerville.

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Resources and Reports

  • Carbon Neutrality Pathway Assessment

    Somerville has set an ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. This report defines carbon neutrality and analyzes the technological transformations necessary to achieve this emissions reduction target, through the implementation of policies and programs. This report presents a possible pathway to reduce emissions but does not encompass all of the ways the city can reduce emissions and is not intended to be a prescription for how the city should reach its goal. The report is an exercise in understanding what it will take to become carbon neutral and will serve as a baseline resource for the strategies for Somerville that will be developed in the city’s Climate Change Plan.

  • Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

    The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment analyzes how climate change is expected to impact Somerville in the coming decades. The study looks at Somerville’s risks from sea level rise and storm surge, increasing temperatures, and precipitation-based flooding. In many ways climate change will intensify impacts that Somerville is already experiencing, such as precipitation-based flooding and heat waves. Climate change will also increase the risk of flooding along the Mystic River during severe storms. The study identifies key priorities of Somerville to focus on in order to reduce climate related risks. The City of Somerville is already taking action to reduce some of these threats, including making significant stormwater infrastructure improvements in Union Square and collaborating with the City of Boston’s plans to reduce flooding risk at the Schrafft Center—a primary flood pathway for Charlestown and Somerville. The information in the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment will be used to develop strategies in Somerville Climate Forward, the City’s climate change plan and will help the City make future decisions that can reduce risks to climate impacts within Somerville and within the region.

  • Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Plan

    In an effort to both lower the cost of electricity bills as well as introduce green power options into our energy supply, the City of Somerville is proposing the creation of a citywide electricity bulk buying program known as community choice aggregation. Somerville’s proposed program will employ a procurement process designed to maximize savings and will provide a full set of consumer protections, including the right for any customer to opt out of the program at any time at no charge.

  •  The Office of Sustainability and Environment completes an inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for all of Somerville as well as an inventory of the subset of emissions that are from city government operations every two years. The inventories of 2014 emissions provide a baseline for planning emissions reductions and measuring progress in future years. These reports identify the leading sources of climate change-causing emissions in our community.


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