Residents' understanding of the role of green infrastructure for climate change adaptation in Hangzhou, China

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Byrne, Jason A
Lo, Alex Y
Yang, Jianjun
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Hangzhou is a rapidly growing Chinese coastal metropolis that is facing climate change impacts, including intense heat waves, flooding and increased severity of storms (e.g. typhoons and thunderstorms). This paper examines whether green infrastructure (GI), specifically increased tree planting, could help Hangzhou City adapt to some of these impacts. The paper reports the results of a survey of Hangzhou green-space users and their disposition toward tree planting in public and communal green-spaces as a climate change adaptive response. Results show that surveyed green-space users tended to favor tree planting as an adaptive strategy if they were older, believed that individual actions could reduce climate change impacts, and believed that future climate change impacts would be economically disruptive. Few respondents reported tree costs (disservices). While the perceived benefits of urban trees were unrelated to support for urban greening, results suggest that under some conditions, residents may be willing to support increased tree cover within urban public and communal open spaces. Findings suggest land use planners and environmental managers in China would do well to cultivate support for green infrastructure interventions among older green-space users and residents who perceive personal costs associated with climate change. Additional research across a range of Chinese cities, and internationally, could further assist in evaluating the efficacy of green infrastructure for climate change adaptation from a green-space user perspective. Particular attention will need to be given to the potential costs of large-scale tree planting (e.g. health impacts) and to the utility of GI for macro-scale climate change response.

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Landscape and Urban Planning

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© 2015 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.

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