Climate-Smart Cities™

Cities are on the front line of climate change. They can be an important part of the solution by offering energy-efficient living for our growing population—but they must also face the growing threat of heat waves and flooding. Our Climate-Smart Cities program helps cities nationwide create parks and conserve land to meet the climate challenge.

We help cities use parks and natural lands as “green infrastructure” serving four objectives:

Connect: Trails and transit lines provide carbon-free transportation and link residents to popular destinations and each other.

Cool: Shady green spaces reduce the urban “heat island” effect, protect people from heat waves, and reduce summer energy use.

Absorb: Water-smart parks, playgrounds, and green alleys absorb rainfall, reduce flooding, and recharge drinking wa-ter supplies while saving energy for water management.

Protect: Shoreline parks and natural lands buffer cities from rising seas, coastal storms, and flooding.

Climate-Smart Cities in action

We’re working in cities across the country, including:

Los Angeles Green Alleys

We are working with the City of Los Angeles, UCLA, and Arizona State University to develop “green alleys” in South Los Angeles that will restore natural cooling and stormwater absorption to the city’s hard-paved urban core.

New York City

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, we are working with the City of New York, Columbia University, and Drexel University to target new waterfront parks and restore wetlands to protect low-lying neighborhoods.

Seattle Metro

We are using GIS mapping to help King County redevelop the 42-mile Eastside Rail Corridor as the anchor for a new regional alternative transportation network.