One Billion People More Resilient
permeable pavement
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Policy Solution

Reduce impervious surfaces



Reducing the amount of paved impervious surface area will provide cooling by lowering the amount of stored heat in surfaces.


Relax requirements for parking to decrease the size of parking lots and spaces, as well as increase the vegetation in highly paved areas.

Considerations for Use

This strategy is best deployed as a component of a larger land use strategy which will vary greatly across municipalities or during development reviews.


  • Climate:

    Cold, Hot/Dry, Temperate
  • Policy Levers:

    MandateMandates are government regulations that require stakeholders to meet standards through building codes, ordinances, zoning policies, or other regulatory tools.
  • Trigger Points:

    City planning processesIncludes city initiatives such as the development of climate action plan, pathway to zero-energy, master plan, transit plan, energy mapping etc.
    Introducing new or updated zoning/codesIncludes codes, zoning requirements or by-laws pertaining to urban planning and building construction activity.
    No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
  • Intervention Types:

    Buildings and Built Form
  • Sectors:

    Public Works, Transportation

Case Studies


  • Target Beneficiaries:

  • Phase of Impact:

    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:

    Total paved area reduction


  • Intervention Scale:

  • Authority and Governance:

    City government
  • Implementation Timeline:

    Medium-term (3-9 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:

    City government, Private developers, Property owners and managers
  • Funding Sources:

    Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:



  • Cost-Benefit:

  • Public Good:

  • GHG Reduction:

  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):

    Improve stormwater management
  • Co-benefits (Social/Economic):

    Improve the public realm