Green Infrastructure Issue Areas: Climate Adaptation & Disaster Mitigation

Climate Adaptation & Disaster Mitigation:

Green infrastructure offers a multitude of benefits that regions can apply towards their climate adaptation and disaster mitigation goals. As a climate mitigation strategy, green infrastructure can reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling, and eliminate carbon dioxide emissions through direct removal from the air and avoided emissions from power plants. As cities replace natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat, urban heat islands form. Green infrastructure features, such as green roofs, can cool urban areas by shading building surfaces, deflecting radiation from the sun, and releasing moisture into the atmosphere.

Green infrastructure can also provide a range of climate adaptation benefits to regions facing changing climatic conditions and rising sea levels. By improving water infiltration, cities and regions can increase the recharge rate of their groundwater sources, thus improving the resilience of water supply. Cities and regions facing increasing temperatures are also looking to green infrastructure as a strategy for offsetting urban heat island effect and mitigating some of the impacts of changing climate for public health reasons. Green infrastructure also provides a systematic strategy for conserving and restoring America’s coastal resources including wetlands and floodplains that protect regions from storm surges and flooding. These resources also play an important role in water filtration for water quality and in providing valuable habitats.

For more information about Federal Agencies that utilize green infrastructure techniques to improve climate adaptation and disaster mitigation, visit the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s green infrastructure toolkit webpages.

The organizations and reports referenced above and how green infrastructure relates to climate adaptation and disaster mitigation can be found in the following resources:

Copyright © 2013 National Association of Regional Councils