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 protection program protects the relocation and replacement of specific trees through the building code. The code can require documentation of existing trees and requiring permitting or fees for removal.
Implementation: Identify protected trees and enforce penalities if existing protected trees are removed.
Considerations for Use: This mandate is most effective in areas with high property turnover rates to protect existing trees.
- 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).
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:
Informal Settlements, Parks, Public Works
- Target Beneficiaries:
Heat-vulnerable communities, Residents
- Phase of Impact:
Risk reduction and mitigation
Number of trees protected
- Atlanta, GA Tree Protection Ordinance (EPA, Pg 14)
- Annapolis, MD Tree Protection Ordinance (EPA, Pg 14)
- Charlottesville, VA Tree Conservation Ordinance
- Intervention Scale:
- Authority and Governance:
- Implementation Timeline:
Short-term (1-2 Years)
- Implementation Stakeholders:
- Funding Sources:
- Capacity to Act:
- 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