The Value of Green Infrastructure for Urban Climate Adaptation

Josh Foster, Ashley Lowe, Steve Winkelman
Created: 2/27/2011 -


In this paper CCAP provides information on the costs and benefits of “green” infrastructure solutions for bolstering local adaptation to climate change. Pioneering cities and counties have used green practices to increase community resilience by planning for, and adapting to, emerging climate change impacts. Generally, resilience means that communities can better withstand, cope with, manage, and rapidly recover their stability after a variety of crises. Practices such as green roofs, urban forestry, and water conservation are familiar to local governments as strategies to enhance sustainability and quality of life and they are increasingly being seen as best practices in climate adaptation. These solutions can help build adaptive capacity through planning, preparing, or reducing climate-related vulnerabilities, but the uncertainty involved in calculating their economic and social costs and benefits is a barrier to action for local governments. This report will evaluate the performance and benefits of a selection of green infrastructure solutions, using their range of technological, managerial, institutional, and financial innovations as a proxy for their value for climate adaptation.

Published On


Community / Local
National / Federal
State / Provincial
Sector Addressed
Land Use Planning
Landscape Architecture
Transportation / Infrastructure
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Infrastructure retrofitting and improvements
Stormwater systems: retrofitting and improvements
Sewage systems: retrofitting and improvements
Transportation: retrofitting and improvements
Buildings: retrofitting and improvements
Make infrastructure resistant or resilient to climate change
Community Planning (developing climate-smart communities)
Develop / implement adaptive management strategies
Sociopolitical Setting