4 climate actions to improve infrastructure in your city

Climate Action Consultancy 3 min read , May 2, 2019

Read this article in another language : Dutch β€’ French β€’ Spanish

The Province of Limburg has created a list with tons of climate actions for the entire city council. Do you still have colleagues at the Public Works and Infrastructure department who are not aware of the advantages of an ambitious climate plan? Show them which actions are achievable and how they will benefit your whole city!

🀫 At the end of the article you will find a link to a lot of inspiring actions from the city of Kortrijk.

Grab a pen and paper and write down your favorite actions. Take your shortlist to your colleagues at Public Works and Infrastructure to make the actions concrete!

⚠️ Unsafe situations and high costs

Many utilities aren't yet optimal. This comes at a price. High costs for the municipality, but high emissions as well. Weather extremes can also cause flooding and drought. Unadjusted infrastructure can therefore suffer a great deal of damage. This causes unsafe situations and costs the municipality a lot of money.

πŸ† What to do as a city

Sustainable infrastructure ensures that your municipality is resistant to drought and flooding. Opting for renewable energy means that your electricity costs will get lower.

Write down the most realistic actions for your city for each theme below πŸ‘‡

1. Focus on climate-proof construction and maintenance 🚧

  • Make a road maintenance program so that you can quickly anticipate additional effects of climate change.
  • Provide water storage (hollow space under a road that can temporarily collect water in case of heavy rainfall) and buffer basins under roads, or encourage the network manager to provide sewerage for this.
  • Invest in the construction of separate sewer systems (rainwater vs waste water) and inform residents about its importance.
  • Keep the existing sewer system in good condition and renew it if necessary.
  • Switch to LED for public lighting, and reduce the amount of time that they are on.

2. Focus on renewable energy πŸ”‹β˜€οΈοΈ

  • Develop a (green & efficient) vision for the installation of heat networks in your municipality. After all, in the vast majority of cases your municipality must give permission to the heat network manager to use the public domain.
  • For important construction works, dare to be innovative and to look with an open mind which solutions are suitable for the energy supply. The presence of a sustainable residual heat source can, for example, form the basis for a local heat network.
  • Check with your local energy distribution operator where development, construction and operation of a district heat network is relevant.
  • Support citizen cooperatives on renewable energy.

3. Focus on dealing with emergency situations 🚨

  • Ensure that vulnerable infrastructure (such as utilities, hospitals, etc.) is not in a flood area, take action where necessary.
  • Adjust the emergency and intervention plan where necessary, make use of risk and vulnerability analysis or own experience.
  • Prepare a health plan for hot days so that residents are informed in time about how to adjust their behaviour and protect themselves against heat.
  • Inform citizens about the measures they can take to limit or prevent possible damage and encourage them to have an emergency package (blankets, flashlights, etc.) in their home.

4. Bet on the exemplary function of your municipal building park πŸ—οΈ

  • Appoint an energy team or energy manager who can make a global plan of approach for all municipal buildings
  • Set standards for passive or Nearly Zero-Energy municipal buildings
  • Make smart energy choices: switch to 100% green energy, heat networks, solar panels and collectors, local biomass, ...
  • Invest in green roofs and green faΓ§ades.
  • Clear out concrete pavement and ensure there is sufficient space for green.

πŸ‘ Finished your list? Schedule a meeting with the Public Works and Infrastructure department to discuss your ideas. Good luck!

Focusing on Public Works and Infrastructure is important for the reducing energy losses and danger in emergency situations. However, including other city services in your plans is as important to make your city an enjoyable place to live and work in.

FutureproofedCities allows all different city services to work together in one online tool to realise more climate actions and communicate them to their inhabitants. πŸ’‘ Check out Kortrijk's public page to see how they tackle climate challenges within their city.

(Source: Province of Limburg)

Curious for climate actions for other departments? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive all articles.

Subscribe for articles, tips, stories, and inspiration by our Futureproofed team, delivered straight to your inbox β€” once a month.
Sign up for our newsletter