Green Infrastructure for Coastal Cities

In this course you will learn what green infrastructure means, the related concepts and the different applications in urban planning, and the development of green infrastructure projects, with examples from LatinAmerica.


Start date: 13 February
 Course type: Self-paced course
 Languages: English, Spanish
 Estimated effort: 3-4 hours per module
Duration: 4 modules
 Partners: Ministry of Environment of Chile (MMA); Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition of Ecuador (MAATE); Development Bank of Latin America (CAF); Adaptation Fund; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


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Climate change has been recognized as a threat to regional and local governments due to its long-term impacts, and is caused by anthropogenic changes that modify the composition of the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions continue to increase and, consequently, their impacts, such as increases in global average temperature, sea level rise, changes in precipitation patterns, and variation in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events (IPCC, 2014), among others. 

Green infrastructure and nature-based solutions enhance urban resilience in the face of climate catastrophes and are of particular importance in the urban environment. hey provide ecosystem services necessary for the functioning of the city, which simultaneously contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. On the other hand, the municipal green infrastructure delimitation is the reference for structuring the planning decisions for residential, public and economic uses; therefore, it must be integrated in all sectors and areas of the city.

Through a coordinated effort between the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition of Ecuador and the Ministry of Environment of Chile, with the support of CAF - Development Bank of Latin America as the implementing entity, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as executing entity, and financing from the Adaptation Fund, the regional project "Reducing climate vulnerability and flood risk in urban and semi-urban coastal areas in Latin American cities - AdaptaClima," was developed.

The objective of the AdaptaClima project is to reduce climate risks that cause floods, landslides and mudflows in three coastal cities through a risk-based approach with adaptation options, with a focus on collaborative construction and networking, in order to develop a culture around adaptation. 

Among the project's activities, the e-learning virtual course Introduction to Green Infrastructure for Coastal Cities has been developed for local government officials,authorities of LAC coastal cities, and the general public.

About the course

The course is an introduction to the use of green infrastructure and/or nature-based solutions (NBS) as an alternative to gray infrastructure. It is aimed at officials and professionals working in local, regional and national governments of urban and semi-urban coastal cities who are interested in learning about this topic.

The course is planned to be carried out in an estimated time of 4 weeks with an average dedication of 4 hours per week. 

The course is currently offered in both English and Spanish.

Course highlights and outcomes

  • Develop the skills needed to create a green infrastructure project
  • Explore learning materials and recommended literature
  • Learn how to select the most appropriate green interventions suited to the context of your city or community
  • Receive a completion certificate from the course partners

Learning objectives

General objective:

The objective is to provide the participant with general guidelines on the social, environmental and economic benefits of implementing green infrastructure to reduce climate risks and gain other co-benefits for the population.

Specific objectives:

  • Participants will identify coastal urbanization impacts in Latin America, such as deforestation, soil impermeabilization, and pollution, among others. 
  • Participants will become familiar with successful examples of green infrastructure and nature-based solutions in other cities and regions.
  • Participants will recognize the most innovative green infrastructure planning policies and methods as well as nature-based solutions applied in other cities.
  • Participants will identify the key components for the development of urban green infrastructure projects and become familiar with their application.
  • Participants will understand how to conduct a cost-benefit assessment, identify different funding opportunities for green infrastructure and NBS projects, and develop basic skills to prepare a proposal for a funding request.

Course topics

  • Module 1: introduction to green infrastructure, its origins and general concepts.
  • Module 2: Summary of different approaches to green infrastructure planning in Europe, the US, and Latin America. 
  • Module 3: Introduction to the practicalities of developing a green infrastructure project
  • Module 4: brief introduction to the topics of ecological economy and circular economy.

Course completion requirements

To receive the course completion certificate, participants must:

  • Pass the final evaluations of each module (4 evaluations in total) with a minimum of 70/100 points.
  • The evaluations of each module correspond to 10 multiple choice questions.
  • Develop and upload to the platform the final activities of each module (4 activities in total).
  • Participate in the forum of each module.

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