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The Smart Surfaces Coalition is committed to the rapid, cost-effective global adoption of smart surfaces to enable cities to thrive despite climate threats, save cities billions of dollars, decrease heat, reduce flood risk, slow global warming, and increase city livability, health, equity and jobs.


Launched by Capital E in 2018, The Smart Surfaces Coalition is a coalition of 40+ organizations dedicated to expanding city adoption of smart infrastructure technologies such as cool and green roofs, trees, solar PV, and cool and porous pavements. The Coalition is developing training programs for city leaders, providing legal assistance to overcome any hurdles in developing smart surface adoption policies, and is developing a first-of-its-kind, free, online analytic tool that allows cities to model the full range of costs and benefits associated with the cities’ desired adoption level mix of smart surfaces in their cities.

Smart Surface Analytic Tool

The Smart Surface Analytic Tool is a free tool that allows cities to determine the costs and benefits of smart surface adoption in their cities. The analytic engine is based on 6 years of research and development led by Capital E in trial cities including Washington DC, El Paso, TX and Philadelphia, PA—the report Delivering Urban Resilience is the result of this work. The detailed financial model in this report is being expanded for use in all cities with the help of Smart Surface Coalition partners.

Once complete, the tool will allow cities to input their desired adoption level of each smart surface type and see all of the costs and benefits associated with implementing the selected smart surface adoption mix for their city. The tool draws from climate databases, state and national databases, satellite imagery, data from partner organizations, and other industry standard sources in order to determine each city’s unique costs and benefits of smart surface adoption. Users will also be able to drill down to see all of the underlying assumptions, raw data, and other features of the model in order to see how their specific results were calculated. Additionally, the analytic engine also allows users to adjust built-in assumptions using their own data. City officials with self-generated data can use their data as inputs in order to customize the cost-benefit analysis for parts of cities.

Support and Training

The coalition and its partners, including the National League of Cities, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, USGBC, WaterNow Alliance, AIA, ACEEE and other groups, are also developing training programs for city officials. Smart Surface Coalition partners will be providing cities with broad technical assistance in gathering data for specialized cost-benefit analysis, and help cities manage the common hurdles that may be encountered in the process of designing and implementing a city-wide smart surface policy.

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