The adaptation strategies below offer possible ways to address anticipated climate risks to urban ecosystems.
Adaptation strategies for urban ecosystems
- Examples can include rainwater collection and reuse opportunities, maintaining and increasing urban green infrastructure, and more. These efforts help improve air quality, water quality, and provide benefits for wildlife in urban areas.
- Consider climate change scenarios into water supply system planning and maintenance.
- Manage water demand (through water reuse, recycling, and rainwater harvesting, for example).
- Prevent or limit groundwater extraction from shallow aquifers.
- Complete a map of the city’s, town’s, or county’s green spaces, and develop a strategy or formal plan to continue or fortify ongoing tracking, maintenance, and protection initiatives.
- Identify public land that has a high potential for improved ecological management.
- Develop a strategy to support public land improvement, either by acquiring the land or supporting community partners’ efforts to do so.
- Conduct a tree canopy assessment and map tree locations.
- Complete a strategy or formal plan to continue or fortify measurement, maintenance, and planting initiatives.
- Implement pathogen monitoring and management initiatives.
- Select and recommend tree plantings based on native species listed as appropriate for anticipated climatic changes.
- Identify and implement reforestation opportunities.
- Adopt tree and or forest protection policies.
- Work with developers to lessen tree removal during new construction.
- Expand the planning horizons of land use planning to incorporate longer climate predictions.
- Purchase development rights or property rights.
- Adopt protections of important zones and critical habitats as the locations of these areas change with climate.
- Connect landscapes with natural corridors to enable migrations.
- Adopt a habitat connectivity plan.
- Implement zoning ordinances to support habitat connectivity goals.
- Integrate habitat protection strategies into zoning codes, comprehensive plans, and ordinances.
- Require new developments to complete a habitat impact analysis and mitigate the loss of habitat that they damage or destroy.
- Limit Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) near sensitive natural areas.
- Restrict septic systems near areas with high biodiversity or critical habitat.
- Use setbacks to protect sensitive habitats.
- Allow for landowners to sell their development rights to the local government to permanently protect the land through a purchase of development rights.
These strategies are adapted from existing federal and other resources. Please view these strategies in the context provided by the primary source document:
The adaptation strategies provided are intended to inform and assist communities in identifying potential alternatives. They are illustrative and are presented to help communities consider possible ways to address current and future climate threats. Read the full disclaimer.