Last updated: October 10, 2022
UrbanEcoTech is designed to help cities implement evidence driven nature based solutions to climate hazard mitigation. As cities respond to the unique effects of climate change which impact them, the need for data based tools which allow them to strategically place nature based solutions and measure their effectiveness over time has become clear and UrbanEcoTech was made to fill that need.
UrbanEcoTech’s tools use federal, state and local GIS data, with the majority of the data being local municipality data. Data sources including urban infrastructure, tree canopy cover, heat mapping and flood zones, combined with anecdotal hazard reporting data, all get layered into the unique tool for each municipality.
Just as the effects of climate change are unique to each place based on its natural environment, responses to those effects should be unique to that environment and the place’s existing infrastructure. Using local data to decide what makes sense for each community is the best way to design solutions that will be effective and last.
We focus on nature based solutions because they are designed to channel the unique advantages of the local environment for combating the effects of climate change, while impacting root causes specific to that area at the same time.
Once target locations are identified we help our municipality partners connect with mitigation experts and implementing organizations to design and implement solutions in those locations. We work with our partners to bring in relevant local expertise throughout each process.
While estimates for the development process differ by the size and complexity of each municipality we work with, it generally takes several months to go from indexing data to a complete tool ready to identify locations for implementation.
There are a number of organizations with great resources on this topic, many of which hold frequent webinars for local resilience planners. Organizations including the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund, the United Nations Office on Disaster Risk Reduction, the World Resources Institute and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, among many others, regularly publish content and host events on this topic. Many universities and academic institutions have written extensively on this topic in recent years as well, including notably prominent volumes by Mahmoud et al., Kabisch et al., Croci and Lucchitta, Panagopoulos and Bott et al., among many others.