Policy Solution

Green walls

Lead by Example

Overview:

Summary: Green walls are composed of plants installed on the sides of buildings. The plants cool buildings envelope temperatures and surrounding temperatures through evapotranspiration and shading. Green walls are also known as living walls or vertical gardens.

Implementation: Promote green walls by converting or intalling them on existing or new publicly-owned property.

Considerations for Use: Green walls require sufficient irrigation and high levels of ongoing maintenance. Plants should be selected that provide dense foliage to maximize coverage.

  • Policy Levers: The mechanism municipalities can use to actualize the intervention. These policy levers will likely be used in combination with each other.

    Lead by ExampleGovernments have ownership and jurisdiction over a range of assets (e.g. buildings and streets) and also serve as a direct employer, and contractor. This allows them to promote heat risk reduction and preparedness solutions and demonstrate their impact through leading by example with proactive interventions to make their assets, employment opportunities, and contracts heat-resilient.
  • Trigger Points: Opportunities for municipalities to implement risk reduction and preparedness interventions based on the policy lever, building on the United Nations Environment Programme triggers used in the Beating the Heat handbook (2021).

    Evaluating or initiating major city infrastructure projectsIncludes projects such as city transit, street or utilities construction / re-construction etc.
    Planned new developmentIncludes Greenfield or brownfield development or new construction
    Substantial rehabilitationIncludes the re-development or major renovation projects.
  • Intervention Type:
    Green/natural Infrastructure
  • Sectors:
    Buildings,

    Impact:

  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Decrease in building temperature; Energy savings; Stormwater runoff reduction; Number of installations completed and in progress projects

Implementation:

  • Intervention Scale:
    Building
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Medium-term (3-9 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    Array
  • Funding Sources:
    Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    Medium; High

    Benefits:

  • Cost-Benefit:
    High
  • Public Good:
    Medium
  • GHG Reduction:
    Medium
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
    Improve stormwater management; Preserve biodiversity; Reduce air and water pollution
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Save on utilities; Increased property values; Build social cohesion; Improve human health