Policy Solution

Tree planting campaign

Awareness and Engagement


Summary: Trees provide cooling through evapotranspiration and shading that decreases temperatures along walkways. Increasing vegetation provides numerous co-benefits like reducing pollution, improving the public realm, and decreasing energy costs. A tree planting campaign can encourage private property owners and businesses to plant more trees. Through a campaign, governments can also recruit volunteers and raise funds to plant trees on public land.

Implementation: Encourage residents to participate in and support tree planting efforts with tree giveaways, corporate sponsorship or competitions, and other programming. Participants can plant trees on their own property. Governments can collect funding for trees through donations from private sector partners and foundations.

Considerations for Use: This program provides cooling while increasing awareness about the role of tree canopies in extreme heat. An education campaign can support private property owners and businesses to understand the importance of continued maintenance and upkeep for trees on their property.

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

    Awareness and EngagementGovernments may design and operate programs with the goal of increasing awareness and engagement among constituents or stakeholder groups about the risks and opportunities of extreme heat.
  • 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).

    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:
    Green/natural Infrastructure
  • Sectors:
    Education, Informal Settlements, Parks, Public Works


  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Heat-vulnerable communities, Property owners, Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Change in urban canopy, Number of trees planted


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


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