Green Space

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Green Space

Boston is experiencing undeniable climate change. Note the rising summer temperatures, the regular flooding of Morrissey Boulevard and other coastal areas, the increased frequency of serious storms. Dorchester is indicated as an area of concern in the city’s heat report; however, our specific neighborhood’s lower density of buildings with front, back, and side yards allow for night cooling. Smart construction is one way to mitigate the effects of this climate change. There should be open areas for play and gardens. Pavement should be permeable to allow rain to return to the groundwater. Trees are a critical part of the environmental cycle, and mature trees contribute much more than saplings (and also require less care and watering at the outset).

map of blocks surrounding 150 Centre St. showing many trees lining the public streets, but only two on this block

Screenshot of Boston Street Tree Map, in 2021. Only two trees are shown on the 150 Centre Street block. As of 2023, the tree on Sharp Street has died and been removed.

Mature trees provide screening, shade,  and shelter for birds and animals. When large buildings are planned, care must be taken to preserve trees, largely by protecting roots during excavation and from compacted soil. Boston's Urban Forest Plan states that the majority of Boston's tree canopy is on private land and that the largest threat to those trees is private development. It also explains that mature trees remove more than 70 times the amount of pollution than a replacement sapling would — and they take up  groundwater from the underground stream that flows alongside the T tracks, thus reducing flooding in the T station and in the neighboring basements. Per the Boston Street Tree Map, this block has fewer trees in public spaces than many of the surrounding streets and the loss of any more trees would be sorely felt.

More information about the area is available in the presentations.