Green Area Factor Tool

Challenge

City planning needs tools to ensure that the impacts of climate change are considered in urban development. Urban development reduces the amount of green areas in cities. iWater sees that green areas of different size play a vital role in the adaptation to climate change for example by reducing the risk of flooding, air pollution and urban heat islands of built environments. The significance of green surfaces in the adaptation to climate change is highlighted as the city structure becomes denser.

Solution

Green Factor is a practical and user-friendly Excel-based tool for urban planning. It ensures sufficient green infrastructure when building new lots in a dense urban environment. The Green Factor is calculated as the ratio of the scored green area to lot area. The target level for the lot can be achieved flexibly by the garden designer by selecting some of the 39 green elements, such as planted and maintained vegetation or various run-off water solutions, when designing the lot. The green factor can, for example, be included in the zoning regulations or used for granting concessions during a construction permit application process.

In iWater project, the city of Helsinki´s Green Factor Tool has been updated bringing storm water elements a greater weight and improving the usability of the tool. The Tool has been adopted and piloted in other partner cities: Riga, Jelgava, Tartu, Gävle, Söderhamn and Turku, and finally incorporated in the land-use planning process.

You can download Green Factor Excel tool and user manuals for free!