Trust for Public Land Climate-Smart Cities Program

The Trust for Public Land Climate-Smart Cities program helps cities nationwide plan for and implement strategies to slow climate change and reduce its impacts, by assisting cities to create public parks and to conserve land. Since 1972, the Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.

The Climate-Smart Cities program promotes the use of city parks and natural lands as “green infrastructure” serving four objectives:

Connect: Trails and transit lines provide carbon-free transportation and link residents to popular destinations and each other.

Cool: Shady green spaces reduce the urban “heat island” effect, protect people from heat waves, and reduce summer energy use.

Absorb: Water-smart parks, playgrounds, and green alleys absorb rainfall, reduce flooding, and recharge drinking water supplies while saving energy for water management.

Protect: Shoreline parks and natural lands buffer cities from rising seas, coastal storms, and flooding.

Some current projects include:

Cleveland and Sandusky: Through 2017, the Trust will be working with the Cleveland and Sandusky communities to plan for investment in parks and public spaces that address climate challenges and human health. The study will recommend pilot projects such as green infrastructure basin parks; locations for future parks, or recreational trails to decrease runoff to Lake Erie and area rivers, while improving public health, recreation, and native habitat.

Los Angeles Green Alleys: Collaborating with the City of Los Angeles, UCLA, and Arizona State University to develop “green alleys” in South Los Angeles that will restore natural cooling and stormwater absorption to the city’s hard-paved urban core.

New York City: Working with the City of New York, Columbia University, and Drexel University to target new waterfront parks and restore wetlands to protect low-lying neighborhoods.

Seattle Metro: Using GIS mapping to help King County redevelop the 42-mile Eastside Rail Corridor as the anchor for a new regional alternative transportation network.



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