Policy Solution

Parks and open space



Summary: Converting vacant, non-vegetated land into parks and open spaces is a heat mitigation strategy that cools the surrounding temperature and also provides social co-benefits.

Implementation: Develop and adopt parks plans and capital plans to fund park networks.

Considerations for Use: Parks can be capitally-intensive to design and construct; but offer many opportunities for funding through increased property values and financing solutions. Parks require ongoing maintenance.

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

    CommitmentGovernments set ambitious goals or targets to guide prioritization and investment.
  • 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).

    City planning processesIncludes city initiatives such as the development of climate action plan, pathway to zero-energy, master plan, transit plan, energy mapping etc.
    Evaluating or initiating major city infrastructure projectsIncludes projects such as city transit, street or utilities construction / re-construction etc.
  • Intervention Type:
    Green/natural Infrastructure
  • Sectors:
    Informal Settlements, Parks,


  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Residents; Property owners; Heat-vulnerable communities
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Area of green space or parks


  • Intervention Scale:
    City; District
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Long-term (10+ Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
  • Funding Sources:
    Private investment; Public investment; Grants and philanthropy
  • Capacity to Act:


  • Cost-Benefit:
  • Public Good:
  • GHG Reduction:
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
    Provide flood protection; Improve stormwater management; Preserve biodiversity; Reduce air and water pollution
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Improve human health; Increase property values; Build social cohesion; Improve the public realm