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New climate-change art coming to Fort Point Channel

New Fort Point art installation under way

The Fort Pointer captured artist Zy Baer at work on what will soon be Fort Point Channel's latest art installation, Polarity, which will show a future in which the channel floods and rises until only the upper floor and copper cornice of a building remains above water.

Baer describes the work:

The piece represents the intersection of climate change & privilege — the wealthy contribute the most to climate change but are experiencing & will continue to experience its consequences the least due to their access to resources. They’re also in a greater position to help than those living paycheck to paycheck — eco friendly options are often too expensive for folks in poverty, & more importantly, wealthy folks have the disposable income to enjoy leisure time that can & should be used to fight for Black & Indigenous lives & to curb the power of a handful of massive corporations that put their profit above the survival of every being that lives on Earth. With Fort Point & Seaport as the collective wealthiest neighborhood in Boston, as well as one that’s deeply exposed to destructive flooding caused by sea level rise from climate change, I’m depicting a classic Fort Point building as if it had sunk into the sea due to floodwaters. This piece isn’t fear-mongering — it’s Boston’s future. Sometimes you have to bring a visceral experience to people to kick their privileged a$$e$ into gear.

Artists have long used the channel as a floating platform on which to discuss climate change and social-equity issues.

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Comments

That looks like it's going to look kick-ass when it's complete. Probably pretty surreal, too.

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You maniacs! You melted the glaciers, Damn you all to hell!

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I doubt this will stop development.

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And who's is paying for the privilege of Fort Point Channel's latest art installation, Polarity?,

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Does every piece of art need an honors thesis to explain it?

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Man, apparently grad school is getting way easier these days.

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A novel viral pandemic can easily be grasped by John in a way that escapes public health officials across the world but art is too hard for him to understand.

From Registrar of Deeds candidate to Infowars shitposter in record time. SMH.

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The development in Fort Point and the Seaport probably does more to address climate change than most other things in the region. Most or all new buildings are designed to be highly energy efficient or even net zero carbon. The new construction replaces acres of parking lots which were used by commuters driving into Boston, and with the Silver Line and South Station nearby, the area is transit- and walking-friendly. Packing people into pricey high-rises is generally better for the environment than building McMansions on two-acre lots in car-dependent suburbs.

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It's still mostly being built without consideration for rising sea levels, as we can see pretty much every winter when the whole neighborhood floods. A citywide plan that forced developers building in these low-lying areas near the waterfront to pay into a climate mitigation plan, as well as forcing developers to build their buildings and infrastructure to account for rising water levels, would go a long way to improving and addressing these issues.

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Most of Boston will be under water in a 1/2 century at the current rate. The only real mitigation is to abandon the low lying lands entirely or backfill Boston by a few feet. Neither one seems realistic.

Maybe once the East coast cities are flooded and the residents disperse to other parts of the country the climate change deniers will no longer have so much political control.

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Those dam bags where not a good look @new neighborhood. You are new here. Welcome to Boston fellow residents.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_control_in_the_Netherlands

Of course, they require actual government will and willingness to invest money into long-term solutions, so it's not going to be easy.

But the idea that there's nothing we can do but give up seems pretty absurd. If you truly believe that, please feel free to disperse to the other parts of the country now to make it easier for the rest of us to work on some actual fixes here.

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They are moving toward adaptive naturalistic flood control now, too.

Meanwhile, MA has some pretty strong design and building codes coming out soon that require resilient design. The comment period on those ended in September, and they are going to be revised and subjected to another round of technical and stakeholder review soon.

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Downtown Seattle was built on a mudflat, but the desire for flush toilets and an end to frequent flooding events led to an ambitious project to raise the street levels over a century ago.

They literally filled in the entire area and made the second floor of the buildings into the first floor.

Maybe the Seaport will just have to grow out of the sea level rise.

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Bay Village was once eighteen feet closer to the local water level before most of the buildings were raised up. I'm not sure how practical that is for the larger structures we now build, however.


Brief article: BOSTON | Neighborhoods
Bay Village

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And preferably near other desirable areas. Downtown Boston is mostly built-up although I suppose we could repurpose the Common and Public Garden? The Seaport is otherwise well-located, and the potential issues of sea level rise won't just affect that district. AFAIK new development is required to take into account the future effects of rising sea levels.

Everyone is going to have to pay for climate mitigation, not just new development. Pretty much everyone in industrial nations since the start of the Industrial Revolution has played a part.

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"transit-friendly"?

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oh goody. Another floating sculpture that will look cool for about a month, then just look like floating garbage for the remainder of its existence.

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that sounds pretty appropriate as a symbol for a lot of Boston development...

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Once buildings are consistently underwater, they rot.

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Honestly, it's tough to tell from just a photo or two.
At this point, it looks as much like "Oh! A work barge with a crane sank!" as "Oh! The sea level has reached the upper floors of area buildings!"
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What would really impress me is if the piece were built to copy the facade of a clearly recognizable building along the channel or the nearby area - the courthouse, the Children's museum, the end building on Summer Street with the Boston Wharf Company neon rooftop sign, the convention center....
...bonus points if they include a gondola with a recognizable mannequin gondolier poling commuters across the water.

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