written by
Denise Jacobs

6 climate actions to make your city greener

Climate Action Consultancy 4 min read , April 18, 2019

Read this article in Dutch β€’ Read this article in 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 Nature and Environment 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 municipality of Kampenhout.

Grab a pen and paper and write down your favorite actions. Take your shortlist to the Nature and Environment department of your city to make the actions concrete!

⚠️ Poor air quality and dust pollution

Reduction of green in the city reduces CO2 intake. Effects that we are already seeing are poorer air quality, dehydration (of peat soils), more soil erosion and dust pollution.

πŸ† What to do as a city

More green in your city not only ensures more CO2 absorption, it is also very effective in reducing heat, combating erosion and improving air quality!

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

1. Focus on creating more nature🌱

  • Make an inventory of valuable nature and green areas and small landscape elements in your municipality (using map material) and develop a green structure and design plan for these areas and elements.
  • Start a consultation group with all nature actors in your municipality and together prepare an action plan and biodiversity charter for nature.
  • Organize public campaigns: plant a birth forest, do tree planting campaigns for schools, keep a Day of Biodiversity or a Day of the Park, ...
  • Transform concrete squares into parks with trees and shrubs.
  • Give subsidies to private owners for planting forest and for the restoration and planting of orchards.

2. Focus on defragmentation of nature 🌲

  • Look where obstacles to nature can be addressed; e.g. ecoducts, toad tunnels,...
  • Create stepping stones for nature (e.g. ponds, small forests, ...). Also check with schools, care centers and companies how they can become such a stepping stone (e.g. a green playground, trade in parking for green, ...)
  • Make the nature connections that are included in the municipal spatial structure plans.

3. Focus on protecting nature and sustainable nature management 🌼🐝

    • Prepare a roadside management plan (or update the current plan) and inform the citizens about the ecological importance of roadside verges, watercourses and other small landscape elements.
  • Take measures to strengthen the habitat of local species.
  • Implement a municipal bee action plan and appoint a municipal bee keeper.
  • Close nature reserves and parks in the event of a fire hazard due to heat, storm or flooding. Also keep the emergency and intervention plan for nature and forest up to date.
  • Take measures to protect nature, such as constructing hiking trails, closing off sensitive areas, ...

4. Focus on better air quality 🌫️

    • Focus on monitoring the air quality in your municipality and use the results to identify bottlenecks.
  • Take measures in the context of smog or diffuse dust emissions, make a call not to burn wood, introduce speed limitation, ...
  • Promote the premiums your country/region offers; e.g. soot filters, zero emission cars, ...

5. Focus on space for water πŸ’¦

    • Make a rainwater plan, this is an overview of where and how rainwater in your city can be infiltrated, buffered and drained.
  • Make infiltration fields or strips alongside paved surfaces such as cycle paths, streets, ...
  • Provide buffer capacity and infiltrating infrastructure such as wadis, grass concrete tiles, water squares, ... for the (re)construction of public domains.
  • Provide water misting (fountains, water playground, ...) for cooling off public spaces.
  • Provide advice on the use of water permeable paving when constructing necessary new parking spaces.

6. Focus on climate-proof water management and water use β›²

    • Make a water policy and erosion control plan and ensure its implementation.
  • If necessary / relevant, install grass buffer strips, earthen dam structures and guard basins to prevent erosion and to buffer water.
  • Be guided by the International Water Association (IWA) to evolve into 'Water-Wise Cities'.
  • Promote premiums for the installation of a rainwater well, an infiltration facility, separate drainage system, ...
  • Inform residents about water-conscious building and renovation, and what preventive measures they can take to limit or prevent damage in the event of flooding.

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

Focusing on Nature and Environment is important for the air quality and to oppose concretion. However, including other city services in your plans is at least as important to make your city a pleasant place to live and work in.

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 Kampenhout's public page to see how they tackle climate challenges within their city.

(Source: Province of Limburg)

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