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Extreme Heat

Longer, more frequent, and more severe extreme heat events are expected to occur in Santa Clara County. The County is projected to experience higher annual maximum temperatures that could reach 108-112°F by mid-century and greater than 112°F by late-century.

Potential Physical Interventions

Click on any strategy below for more detailed descriptions. 

Urban Forest

Urban forests are planted tree communities of native or ecologically suited trees throughout cities that reduce urban heat and flooding risks, among other benefits.

Creek Daylighting

Daylighting refers to removing obstructions from rivers, streams, and creeks to allow water to flow naturally, creating greater storage capacity during flooding events.

Green Roofs

Green roofs are added green spaces, including plants, grasses, gardens, and potentially small farms, to the top or sides of buildings to decrease flooding and urban heat.

Rain Garden

Rain gardens are shallow to deep depressions filled with flood resistant, native plants that detain, slow, and filter stormwater runoff.

Constructed Inland Wetlands

Constructing or restoring wetlands aims to recreate natural wetlands in an urban environment, which provides flood mitigation and water purification.

Increasing River Floodplain

Increasing riverine floodplains refers to restructuring river banks to their more natural form in order to mitigate flooding.


Bioswales are long, depressed areas filled with flood resistant, native plants, rocks and layers of soil that decrease stormwater velocity and allow for groundwater infiltration and filtration

Stormwater Tree Pits

A stormwater tree pit is dug into the sidewalk adjacent to a street and a tree is planted to absorb and filter storm runoff and flooding.


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Port Lands Flood Protection Project

Toronto’s Port Lands district is an ambitious flood protection project that has evolved into a large urban redevelopment program. The project is about 2 miles outside of Toronto's financial district and has been a industrial no-man zone near Lake Ontario. The project encompasses 600 acres with 64 acres of park , 75 acres of habitat, riverfront pathway and plans for 20,000 residential housing units.

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Tanner Springs Park

In the heart of Portland, a park has been renovated to include a detention pond that offers habitat to traveling birds, a community gathering place, and an effective mitigation effort against excessive rain and stormwater.

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San Francisco Urban Forestry Plan

The goals of the SF Urban Forest Plan is to plant 50,000 new trees by 2050, create a city wide street tree maintenance program, and to educate the public on the importance and brilliance of trees.

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Happy Valley Bioswale

The Happy Valley Bioswale in Ventura, CA is a massive example of what bioswales can achieve. The bioswale, 300 ft long in a horse shoe orientation, treats water runoff from 36 acres of the surrounding urban environment.

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Coyote Valley Preservation

In November 2019, 937 acres in Coyote Valley were permanently protected through an innovative public and private partnership among Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (OSA) and the City of San José. The $93.46 million acquisition deal was funded in part by Measure T, a $650 million infrastructure bond approved by San José voters in November 2018

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Moffett Park Specific Plan Urban Ecology

The Moffett Park Technical Plan lays out a city wide redevelopment of green infrastructure and Nature-Based Strategies that create habitats and natural corridors in order to reduce climate impacts and positively impact the community.

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Seattle Urban Forest Plan

Seattle Urban Forestry plan implemented the planting of trees and understory plants, as well as public gardens with agriculture across the city. The increase of vegetation has reduced noise and air pollution, while reducing flooding across the city.

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California Academy of Sciences Living Roof

The Living Roof in San Francisco offers incredible insulation for the Academy of Sciences while simultaneously offering essential habitat for birds and insects and creating educational spaces.

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Street Edge Alternatives (SEA) Street Pilot

Seattle Public Utilities reconstructed an entire city street to include green infrastructure throughout. The infrastructure included bioswales, tree canopies, pervious pavement and more.

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Cathedral Park Rain Garden

Portland's Biggest Rain Garden: Portland, Oregon has redeveloped their city to include a multitude of nature based solutions on large scales. One of their most successful implementations was developing 3,600 rain gardens throughout the city. Cathedral Park houses Portland's biggest rain garden.

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