Photo: Eric Allix Rogers via Flickr
Policy Solution

Reduce impervious surfaces

Mandate

Overview:

Summary: Reducing the amount of paved impervious surface area will provide cooling by lowering the amount of stored heat in surfaces.

Implementation: Relax requirements for parking to decrease the size of parking lots and spaces, as well as increase the vegetation in highly paved areas.

Considerations for Use: This strategy is best deplayed as a component of a larger land use strategy which will vary greatly across municipalities or during development reviews.

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

    MandateMandates are government regulations that require stakeholders to meet standards through building codes, ordinances, zoning policies, or other regulatory tools.
  • 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.
    Introducing new or updated zoning/codesIncludes codes, zoning requirements or by-laws pertaining to urban planning and building construction activity.
    No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
  • Intervention Type:
    Buildings and Built Form
  • Sectors:
    Public Works, Transportation,

    Impact:

  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Total paved area reduction

Implementation:

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

    Benefits:

  • Cost-Benefit:
    Low
  • Public Good:
    Low
  • GHG Reduction:
    N/A
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
    Improve stormwater management
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Improve the public realm