City: New York Country / US State / US Territory: New York Type of Solution: City Government Program Climate Impact: Hurricanes and Storm Surge; Extreme Precipitation and Flooding Social Value Created: Food security and nutrition; community cohesion, bikeability; livability; urban beautification
The Cloudburst Study was conducted by NYC through a collaborative project with Copenhagen to prevent flooding during heavy precipitation events, aka. Cloudbursts. NYC and Copenhagen are both facing rising sea levels and Cloudbursts, so the cities have partnered to develop new innovative projects to enhance stormwater management. Their solutions are aimed at creating inspiring urban areas and other co-benefits for citizens, local businesses, and the city.
South Jamaica Houses redevelopment is one pilot project that has emerged from the NYC Cloudburst Study. The project will increase liveability of the area, and will result in additional shared green space for recreation, bike paths, and urban gardening. Improved public spaces will help to improve community cohesion. Additionally, the college will be better integrated into the surrounding community, also contributing to social cohesion.
City: Tampa Country / US State / US Territory: Florida Type of Solution: Agriculture Climate Impact: Invasive Species and Pests Social Value Created: Food Security and Nutrition; Living Wages Cost: N/A Financing: N/A
Fungus is common in Florida’s humid climate that will rot strawberries, and may become a larger problem in the future. To avoid rot, farmers overspray strawberries, costing them time and money. Additionally, the fungus may develop a resistance to the fungicide if the chemicals are sprayed too frequently. A system was developed to monitor temperature, leaf wetness, humidity and local weather to alert farmers when they should be spraying fungicide.
Improving crop yields and reducing fungicide use reduces operational costs, helping to ensure living wages for farmers. Improving crop yields also supports food security and nutrition, and reducing fungicide use reduces the environmental impact of agricultural practices. Additionally, customers have started to demand more natural strawberries, and reducing chemical use helps to meet customer expectations.
Freeman, J. (October 10, 2014). Strawberry growers reap profits with less spray, more science. NOAA Climate.gov. Retrieved from https://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-case-studies/strawberry-growers-reap-profits-less-spray-more-science.
U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit. (January 17, 2017). Alert system helps strawberry growers reduce costs. Retrieved from https://toolkit.climate.gov/case-studies/alert-system-helps-strawberry-growers-reduce-costs.
City: San Diego Country / US State / US Territory: California Type of Solution: Buildings and Housing Climate Impact: Drought Social Value Created: Community Engagement; Public Education; Public Health and Safety; Food Security and Nutrition; Water Security and Quality; Social Justice and Equity for Vulnerable Communities Cost: $524,000
The Water Conservation Home Markover is a pilot project that helped neighborhoods facing issues with water and food security, many of which were Spanish speaking residents, with water conservation renovations. These renovations helped to reduce water consumption, as well as improve stormwater management. Homes were retrofitted with gray water systems, low-flow fixtures, and sink aerators. Additionally, rail barrels were installed and residents were provided with a pallet of drought tolerant landscaping plants and a low-water fruit tree, providing additional access to fresh, healthy foods.
The project also support community education. Participating residents are quarterly sent reports detailing the amount of water saved, energy saved, and carbon sequestration resulting from the project. Additionally, local schools feature the project in classroom lessons and take field trips to see the projects. An outdoor climate action center was also donated to the Millennial Tech Middle School by local landscape architects, providing a space for students to learn about drought tolerant landscaping.
Atlas. (n.d.). Water Conservation Home Makeover at Chollas Creek. Retrieved from https://www.the-atlas.com/project?id=350.
City: Cleveland Country / US State / US Territory: Ohio Type of Solution: Vacant Properties and Lots Climate Impact: Extreme Temperatures and Urban Heat Island Effect; Air Quality; Extreme Precipitation and Flooding Social Value Created: Food Security and Nutrition; Educational and Employment Opportunities; Equitable and Affordable Services; Property Values
In an effort to counteract climate impacts, such as extreme temperatures, air quality issues, and heavy precipitation flooding, Cleveland, Ohio is working on improving its urban tree canopy and urban agriculture in low-income neighborhoods. Cleveland has placed a priority on socially equitable climate adaptation solutions, seeking to have a variety of socioeconomic benefits, such as improving food security and nutrition, increasing property values, reducing energy and health costs, and promoting economic development and employment opportunities.
The City has already developed 300 community gardens and urban farms, many of which are located on repurposed vacant lots. One example of a vacant lot project is the 26.5 acre Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone in the Kinsman Neighborhood that includes a number of initiatives, such as the Kinsman Farm and Rid-All Green Partnership.
Kinsman Farm is a 6-acre incubator farm that was established in 2010 as part a $1.1 million dollar grant from the USDA’s as part of the Beginner Farm and Rancher Development Program. Kinsman Farm provides new urban farmers seeking to start agricultural businesses with assets such as land, infrastructure, and education. New farmers gain valuable experience and learn how to successfully grow their operations before investing in a large-scale commercial farm.
The initiative is supported by Ohio State University (OSU) Extension, West Creek Conservancy, the City of Cleveland, and Burten, Bell, Carr Development Corporation. OSU Extension provides technical support and educates farmers on best practices, West Creek Conservancy leases the property and promotes sustainable agricultural practices, and Burten, Bell, Carr Development Corporation focuses on improving residents’ quality of life through initiatives to increase access to health food.
The Rid-All Green Partnership is another urban farm that occupies 1.5 acres in the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone. The farm features two greenhouses, four hoop houses, a 40,000 square foot Aquaponics fishery, and a compost program. The compost program collects food waste from the Cleveland Food Bank, wood chips from the Cleveland Forestry Department, coffee grounds from local coffee shops, and excess hops from the Little Mountain Brewery and Black Box Brewery. In 2012, the Partnership produced 14,000 pounds of produce, raised 350 pounds of tilapia, and produced 1,200 cubic yards of compost.
The Partnership seeks to improve food security and nutrition in the local community. Additionally, the Partnership has a strong focus on community education, educating both the adult and youth population. There are a variety of education programs, including the Five Month Training Program, Weekend Workshops, Victory Garden Initiative, Ohio Apprenticeship Program, and Youth Educational Program.
City: Chicago Country / US State / US Territory: Illinois Type of Solution: Streets Climate Impact: Extreme Temperatures and Urban Heat Island Effect; Air Quality; Extreme Precipitation and Flooding Social Value Created: Social Justice and Equity for Vulnerable Communities; Social Cohesion; Public Health and Safety; Active Living; Food Security and Nutrition; Public Spaces and Playspaces
The Space to Grow program was started in 2013 to redevelop asphalt school lots into green infrastructure playgrounds for stormwater management. The playgrounds are designed to manage a 100-year storm lasting 24 hours. Additionally, green infrastructure filers air, improving air quality, and contributes to urban cooling, counteracting extreme temperatures and the urban heat island effect. As of 2016, six playgrounds have been completed and 28 more are planned for completion by 2019.
The playgrounds are also designed to create other social benefits. 90% of students serviced by the playgrounds are from low-income families, improving social resilience of vulnerable communities. Further, the playgrounds are intended to be educational and provide space for community gatherings, increasing social cohesion.
Grissom Elementary School is one school that participated in the Space to Grow program. The school redesigned a schoolyard to include outdoor classroom areas, community vegetable gardens, a jogging track, and green infrastructure for stormwater management. Community vegetable gardens improve access to nutritional food and increase social cohesion, and athletic facilities promote physical activity. Both increase access nutrition and engagement in physical activity helping to counteract childhood obesity, a growing crisis in the United States.
James Wadsworth Elementary School is a STEM school that also participated in the Space to Grow program. An unsafe, deterioration playground and basketball court were redesigned with the help of the students. The new design features a playground, basketball court, turf field, jogging track, two half-court basketball courts, and outdoor classroom areas. There are rain gardens that help manage stormwater runoff, and a decorative water feature that uses stormwater runoff captured from the roof.
C40 Cities. (November 15, 2016). Cities100: Chicago – adsorptive playgrounds foster social cohesion. Retrieved from https://www.c40.org/case_studies/cities100-chicago-adsorptive-playgrounds-foster-social-cohesion.
Space to Grow. (n.d.). School profiles. Retrieved from http://www.spacetogrowchicago.org/about/school-profiles/.
City: Baltimore Country / US State / US Territory: Maryland Type of Solution: Green Infrastructure Climate Impact: Extreme Temperatures and Urban Heat Island Effect; Air Quality; Extreme Precipitation and Flooding Social Value Created: Social Cohesion; Educational and Career Development Opportunities; Food Security and Nutrition; Water Quality; Community Engagement; Arts and Culture
The City of Baltimore launched its Growing Green Initiative (GGI) in 2014. The program works to repurpose vacant lots into community assets, such as green infrastructure, community gardens and urban farms, recreational space, and open space for community gatherings. Residents have the ability to adopt a lot. Thus far, the city has successfully repurposed nearly 800 vacant lots.
Green infrastructure helps to manage stormwater by increasing the amount of pervious surfaces for on-site water treatment, reducing flooding and thereby improving community health and safety. Lots are also used to increase the tree canopy and increase the urban forest, helping to mitigate the urban heat island effect, improve air quality, and act as a buffer along railways and highways.
Some lots have been converted into community gardens and urban farms to help combat Baltimore’s food deserts, improving food security and nutrition, as well as increase social cohesion. Other lots have been converted into community gathering spaces and play spaces, improving social cohesion and increasing physical activity of children, improving children’s health.
One vacant lot was transformed into a sculpture park on Homestead Street in East Baltimore, contributing to the community’s arts and culture. Employment and job training opportunities are also created by this program for landscape maintenance and planting, stormwater facility development, urban farming, and food systems.
In 2016, the City of Baltimore partnered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Chesapeake Bay Trust to hold a competition, the Growing Green Design Competition: Vacant Lots Transformed. The competition engaged community groups, design firms, non-profit, and private partners to develop ideas for transforming vacant lots. Seven projects were awarded $300,000 to design and construct their ideas.
Supported by the National Science Foundation under award number SES-1444755. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.