C40 Good Practice Guide: Climate Change Adaptation in Delta Cities

C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group has developed a series of eleven Good Practice Guides for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate vulnerabilities. Climate Change Adaptation in Delta Cities provides a review of successful approaches drawn from the experiences of cities engaged in C40’s Connecting Delta Cities Network, which are relevant for coastal river delta cities around the world.  The good practices shared in the report range from strategies to complete case studies from cities such as Jakarta, Copenhagen, London and New York.

Within the C40 Connecting Delta Cities Network, at least seven different but complementary management approaches have been identified for developing sound climate change adaptation initiatives in a delta city context:

• Take an integrated land use and water systems approach
• Engage community and other stakeholders in coastal and riverside land use
• Manage rainwater
• Manage groundwater table and land subsidence in relation to sea-level rise
• Consider the water balance: freshwater supply and source protection of rivers
• Adopt a multi-risk approach
• Utilize priority budgeting and creative financing for long-term security

C40 has identified case studies from cities in the Connecting Delta Cities Network that highlight best practice in each of these categories.

Case Study: New Orleans - Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan
Specific provisions for better management of subsidence threats are detailed in the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan (2013), including: construction of circulating lowland canals; restoration and building of integrated wetlands; street design with bioswales and pervious pavement allowing groundwater table recharge; and building of blue-green networks. Blue-green networks (e.g. Lafitte Corridor) utilize vacant city lots that can serve to safely store storm water and help replenish the groundwater table, thus limiting the runoff of freshwater into the sea.

Case Study: New York City - Mitigation banking program
NYC introduced a citywide wetland mitigation banking program called MARSHES, which utilizes one-time Federal recovery funding to perpetuate a sustainable and replicable program for wetland restoration and resiliency improvements across the city.  Through mitigation banking programs, a third-party entity performs wetland restoration in offsite, environmentally significant areas, thus generating “mitigation credits” that are sold to developers to offset the impacts of their activities. Such an approach typically enables the protection of more and more critical wetlands, thereby producing both economies of scale by reducing the cost associated with mitigation, as well as ecologies of scale by restoring larger, more ecologically diverse, and integrated wetland habitats.



Publication Date: March 1, 2016

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