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.
  • Develop a strategy to support public land improvement, either by acquiring the land or supporting community partners’ efforts to do so.
  • Identify public land that has a high potential for improved ecological management.

  • Adopt tree and or forest protection policies.
  • Conduct a tree canopy assessment and map tree locations.
  • Complete a strategy or formal plan to continue or fortify measurement, maintenance, and planting initiatives.
  • Identify and implement reforestation opportunities.
  • Implement pathogen monitoring and management initiatives.
  • Select and recommend tree plantings based on native species listed as appropriate for anticipated climatic changes.
  • Work with developers to lessen tree removal during new construction.

  • Adopt a habitat connectivity plan. 
  • Adopt protections of important zones and critical habitats as the locations of these areas change with climate. 
  • Allow for landowners to sell their development rights to the local government to permanently protect the land through a purchase of development rights.
  • Connect landscapes with natural corridors to enable migrations. 
  • Expand the planning horizons of land use planning to incorporate longer climate predictions.
  • Implement zoning ordinances to support habitat connectivity goals.
  • Integrate habitat protection strategies into zoning codes, comprehensive plans, and ordinances.
  • Limit Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) near sensitive natural areas.
  • Purchase development rights or property rights. 
  • Require new developments to complete a habitat impact analysis and mitigate the loss of habitat that they damage or destroy.
  • Restrict septic systems near areas with high biodiversity or critical habitat.
  • Use setbacks to protect sensitive habitats.

Source Documents

These strategies are adapted from existing federal and other resources. Please view these strategies in the context provided by the primary source document: