Residents reap benefits of pioneering scheme to ‘green’ social housing

A two-year project to climate-proof social housing estates in Hammersmith & Fulham was completed last week.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council worked closely with residents and specialist charity Groundwork London to deliver the scheme to reduce flood risk and boost biodiversity.

The Sixties estates, previously characterised by expanses of bare concrete, have been transformed with climate adaptation measures including green roofs, sunken raingardens and community planting areas.

“H&F is committed to improving and investing in social housing while becoming the greenest borough in the country.  For an inner London borough, this means returning concrete areas to plants and wildlife,” said Cllr Lisa Homan, H&F Cabinet Member for Housing.

“This brilliant project has multiple benefits beyond tackling localised flooding, by creating essential green space for people and wildlife.

“We thank all the residents and Groundwork London for their help bringing this to life and hope we can build on its success.”

The pioneering project has already been shortlisted for a for a Landscape Institute Award.

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Image caption: Image 1: Community planting areas are included in the schemes

The work took place on the Queen Caroline Estate in Hammersmith, Cheesemans Terrace, West Kensington and Richard Knight House, Eric MacDonald House and Cyril Thatcher House, in Fulham.

The retro-fitting of green infrastructure will help future-proof the estates against surface flooding.

“If we’re going to deal with climate change and resilience, new housing stock will be built to last, but the old stock is now the big problem for London,” said Dusty Gedge, green infrastructure consultant for the project.

Local residents have already embraced the project, with children using the space to play and explore, watch pollinating insects visiting the plants and other residents are growing their own food.

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Image caption: Image 2: The green spaces prevent flooding and provide areas to play and explore

“I have had people who don’t live on the estate walking through, saying what a beautiful space it is,” said Queen Caroline resident, Emma Griffiths.

“It is somewhere we want to stop and chat and stop and enjoy the green space, so it’s really made a difference in our lives.”

View a short film on the project and find out more here.