Buffer zones and retention areas create capacity to hold stormwater surpluses in cities. Connecting buffer zones to regional water systems allows for management and control of water levels in periods of excess and shortage, which will become even more critical as climate change drives weather patterns increasingly toward extremes. Large-scale buffers provide an alternative to pumping and drainage systems. Even at a small scale, they can provide valuable ecosystem services to surrounding neighborhoods. In addition to the ecological benefits that come from habitat development, buffer zones create economic opportunity through services including open space, recreation, fishing and aquaculture, floating developments and sustainable energy production.