Policy Solution

Tree protection

Mandate

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

    Impact:

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

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:
    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