Policy Solution

Tree planting

Lead by Example

Overview:

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. Governments can plant trees on publicly-owned property to demonstrate the importance and impact of tree planting, provide cooling benefits, and increase tree canopy coverage.

Implementation: Plant trees on new or existing publicly-owned property.

Considerations for Use: These programs can be piloted to demonstrate impact, however, impact will be site-dependent. For example, adding to the tree canopy of city-owned and managed park that already has abundant green space will have lower impact than tree planting in areas with less existing green space. Plantings require ongoing maintenance with associated costs and staffing.

  • 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:
    Parks, Public Works,

    Impact:

  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Residents; Heat-vulnerable communities
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Number of trees planted

Implementation:

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

    Benefits:

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