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Lessons from Katrina in Boston

by on May 6, 2013

The Boston Globe Green Blog is a great way to learn about green efforts and environmentally friendly movements going on around the area. The most recent article that was published is about Spaulding Hospital in Boston and how they have moulded many of their design plans for the architecture of their new buildings based on things that worked and didn’t at a nursing home that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. A really interesting piece!


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  1. This article was really interesting for me as well, especially having taken a seminar on social disruption last semester. In class we talked about how we must look at all possibilities, not just probabilities and even though this is not common amongst building planners, the architects of the hospital looked at climate change charts for Boston. Most people would look for the most economical solution and deal with the consequences, or look at a report saying that it will be 2100 before sea levels effect the area and not plan accordingly. However as we have seen this year once in 100 year storms may be turning into 1 and 50 or 25 year storms. I think this article shows how planning for possibilities makes life safer going forward and makes it so future disasters arent so bad.

  2. Having lived in Boston my entire life, this article is particularly compelling. I think that it is interesting which lessons people choose to learn from events like Katrina. This is not to take away from the admirable feat of creating a safer structure for patients. However, it is evident that people consider building safely for flooding but don’t take into account for the intersection of race and class in the Katrina scenario. The question that has yet to be considered is how the Katrina victims were exposed to such neglect by the response teams. Whatever it may be, it is comforting to know that the people at this hospital in Boston can ride out storms similar to Katrina.

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