Celebrating Boston’s Climate Action Plan
Client: Personal project | Role: Visual design | Year: 2020
The majority of Americans are concerned about climate change, but communicating crisis without providing solutions can prevent people from taking action.
To explore effective climate messaging, I created samples of a campaign to celebrate Boston’s Climate Action Plan. I decided to focus on communicating Boston’s net-zero building strategies, because net-zero buildings are not yet common knowledge as a climate solution. The campaign takes an optimistic, accessible tone and focuses on the progress that has already been made to encourage people to get involved.
How might we make Boston’s new Climate Action Plan a point of pride among Boston residents and encourage them to take action to support these ambitious goals? As a member of the C40 Cities Network, Boston prides itself on being a national and global climate leader. In fact, Boston has taken significant action to reduce emissions since their first Climate Action Plan in 2007. However, much of this progress is not visible to residents who are not directly involved in climate action.
- Identify key takeaways from Boston’s 2019 Climate Action Plan.
- Distill the most important concepts to communicate about building decarbonization as a climate solution.
- Design campaign elements that celebrate Boston’s climate progress, including MBTA advertisements and climate leader certifications for buildings.
This project helped me explore solution-based climate messaging and identify opportunities for location-specific campaigns.
Climate leader signage
Similar to LEED certification logos, Boston could highlight positive action by clearly identifying buildings that are making progress towards the 2050 goal.
Focusing on communicating positive progress allows the City to build goodwill by rewarding building owners for meeting their carbon reduction targets, rather than being perceived as only punitive. In addition, by taking the Climate Action Plan off paper, Boston residents would get a daily reminder of the City’s progress towards the 2050 carbon neutrality goal.
I chose this format because T advertisements reach a broad audience, are already used effectively by the City for public service announcements, and let designers use animation to help reinforce concepts, as storyboarded below.