The London Climate Change Partnership’s (LCCP) report Your social housing in a changing climate (2013) effectively makes the case for the implementation of adaptation measures in the housing sector in order to ensure that our homes and the often vulnerable people that reside in them are more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
Groundwork London are taking the findings of the report a step further and looking beyond the bricks and mortar to the open spaces on housing estates to identify opportunities for climate change adaptation. As part of the EU funded LIFE + programme and in partnership with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, the Climate-Proofing Social Housing Landscapes project will deliver a package of climate change adaption solutions in three social housing landscapes in west London.
The project will develop a transferable methodology for the design and implementation of affordable, lightly-engineered adaptation measures such as rain gardens, drought-resilient planting, micro-green roofs, green walls and tree planting supported by rainwater harvesting. These measures will contribute to a reduction in surface water run-off, facilitate carbon storage and sequestration, promote natural cooling, reducing the urban heat island effect and create habitats for birds and wildlife.
The green infrastructure audits, spatial mapping and feasibility assessments are now complete and the community engagement programme is well underway. The project will continue until March 2016 and one of the key outputs will be a set of training modules for housing practitioners and grounds maintenance professionals on best practice planning, retrofitting and maintenance measures, including an evaluation methodology to capture the technical performance and social return on investment.
The LCCP are supporting the project through strategic input into the project’s Advisory Group along with partners including CIRIA, Environment Agency, the Greater London Authority, Landscape Institute, National Housing Federation, Natural England and Town Planning Institute.