Climate Proofing Social Housing
Green Infrastructure in Social Housing offers numerous benefits both for the estates themselves and for the neighbourhoods they are in. Whilst over the last ten years carbon reduction has been a major focus in the built environment when it comes to climate change mitigation, the exterior skin and surrounding landscape of buildings has a role to play in adapting to climate change. Engagement in this area can also make the landscapes better value for residents in terms of look and contact with biodiversity.
Many existing social housing estates in London are surrounded by amenity landscape. This generally consists of grass areas of limited value in terms of green infrastructure. GIC has been working with Groundwork London on an innovative project – Climate Proofing Social Housing, which aims to increase the value of green infrastructure on social housing estates in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The aim of the project is to provide a template for how other social housing estates across London, UK and Europe could retrofit GI within the landscape and built fabric of such properties.
The project has looked at three estates across the borough and identified interventions that can increase biodiversity, amenity value and store storm water. Furthermore interventions of the actual buildings are also targeting the above, but also aim to provide cooling to internal spaces. The whole project has been done in consultation with residents and, the local borough, which is the lead partner for this EU LIFE project.
The project will deliver:
- A series of rain gardens in the housing estates
- A series of green roofs – small and large
- A green wall
GIC has provided detail advice on all the interventions. Over the coming months we will be watching and recording the progress as each intervention is installed. We have advocated the transformation of landscapes on social housing estates for a number of years. We have helped to design a number of rain gardens on social housing in London and of course designed a number of green roofs and walls as well.
Climate proofing social housing using green infrastructure can improve the quality of life of residents in more ways than one and lead to healthier cities for everyone.