Policy Solution

Public shading structures



Summary: Shading structures can provide comfort for pedestrians and also serve as public space. Shade can come from nature-based solutions like trees or manmade structures. Shade can also extend to public transportation lanes and stops (see "Cooled transit stations").

Implementation: Include shading in the public realm as part of master plans to implement in appropriate areas such as park and pedestrian corridors. This may include introducing shade requirements and removing barriers to implementing shading structures.

Considerations for Use: Shade in the form of tree canopy and public space is often disproportionately distributed throughout neighborhoods and areas with vulnerable populations should be prioritized for pilot programs.

  • Policy Levers:

    CommitmentGovernments set ambitious goals or targets to guide prioritization and investment.
  • Trigger Points:

    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.
    Preparatory measures (actions to establish authority to act)Actions to establish/ ensure the authority to act when appropriate trigger-points occur.
  • Intervention Type:
    Buildings and Built Form
  • Sectors:
    Arts and Culture, Informal Settlements, Parks


  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Heat-vulnerable communities, Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Area of increased shading


  • Intervention Scale:
    City, Site
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Short-term (1-2 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    CBOs, City government
  • Funding Sources:
    Grants and philanthropy, Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    High, Medium


  • Cost-Benefit:
  • Public Good:
  • GHG Reduction:
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
    Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Build social cohesion, Improve human health, Improve the public realm