A City’s Best Defense Against Climate Change? Its Trees, Wetlands, and Watersheds
US Conference of Mayors calls on cities to use natural solutions to fight the effects of climate change
“When a city incorporates natural infrastructure into its planning, it turns to living assets such as urban trees, wetlands, and watersheds to reduce pollutants and provide protection from storms and hurricanes. So effective is the strategy that the United States Conference of Mayors approved a resolution that encourages its 1,400 members to start building green bulwarks against climate change,” wrote Hannah Hoag in an article posted on takepart.com.
Green infrastructure protects against extreme weather and cleans up urban environments
In June 2014, a bipartisan group of mayors from across the United States unanimously approved a resolution hat calls on cities to use natural solutions to fight the effects of climate change.
Attendees of the U.S. Conference of Mayors voted in Dallas on the resolution that encourages cities to use nature to “protect freshwater supplies, defend the nation’s coastlines, maintain a healthy tree and green space cover and protect air quality,” sometimes by partnering with nonprofit organizations.
“What’s so significant is that there was a unanimous vote on an issue that can be so divisive,” said Laura Huffman, director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas. “When you peel away the high-level arguments and deal with the ground-level issues everyone just rolls up their sleeves and gets to work.”
Mayors are looking for alternatives to traditional infrastructure projects that will be cost-effective and provide residents with amenities.
For example, Huffman said, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is combining traditional pipes with open spaces as he revamps the city’s storm water collection system. These open spaces collect water much like pipes do, while providing residents with additional parks.
“We’re seeing that all over the country,” Huffman said.
To Learn More:
To read the article by Hannah Hoag, click on A City’s Best Defense Against Climate Change? Its Trees, Wetlands, and Watersheds