Buildings and Housing

Tampa, Florida: Mixed Use Space Green Infrastructure

City: Tampa
Country / US State / US Territory: Florida
Type of Solution: Buildings and Housing
Climate Impact: N/A
Social Value Created: Public safety; public health; benefits vulnerable communities (including low-income and elderly populations); education; arts and culture; redevelopment
Cost: $2 billion
Financing: $28 million stimulus grant

A unique mixed-use redevelopment in Tampa Florida. The development includes a combination of multifamily housing, senior housing, retail, and office space that meets the criteria for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. All of the housing is also classified as “affordable” housing. Previously, the space was a public housing development that was isolated from the broader community. The new development will increase community connectivity.

Green infrastructure is a major feature of the new development, helping to manage stormwater. A 33,000 cubic foot water-retention vault is being installed 12 feet underground. The vault is a very unique stormwater management system, collecting and treating water using nutrient separating baffle boxes and sediment chambers to remove pollutants from the water. Then, the water is stored and used for irrigation on-site. Any water exceeding the vault’s capacity is treated and released to Tampa Bay.

The site also includes permeable pavers and native plants, increasing groundwater infiltration of stormwater and reducing water demands landscaping. Additionally, there is a 16,000 square foot Technology Park above the stormwater vault that includes educational kiosks, solar public art, and the district chiller.

Burgess, K. et al. (2017). Harvesting the value of water: stormwater, green infrastructure, and real estate. Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2017. Retrieved from

Langlie, K. (August 19, 2016). Health, green affordable housing in downtown Tampa celebrates Earth Day. Retrieved from

San Diego, California: Water Conservation Home Makeover at Chollas Creek

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

Chicago, Illinois: RainReady’s Residential Flood Assistance Program

City: Chicago
Country / US State / US Territory: Illinois
Type of Solution: Buildings and Housing
Climate Impact: Extreme Precipitation and Flooding
Social Value Created: Affordable and Safe Housing; Social Justice and Equity for Vulnerable Communities; Public Health and Safety; Water Security and Quality
Funding: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery

The RainReacy Flood Residential Flood Assistance Program (RFAP) partnered with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development from 2015-2016 to assist low and middle income homeowners affected by the 2013 storm with repairs and retrofits. The 2013 storm was a 10-year storm that resulted in extensive damages of many homes. The program helps promote social justice and equity for vulnerable populations.

RFAP participants were provided with home assessments and construction work for free, including treating mold, removing lead and other hazardous materials, repairing flooding damage, and installing flood mitigation measures, contributing to public health and safety. Some of these flood mitigation measures included foundation waterproofing, rain barrel installation, and green infrastructure such as rain gardens and permeable pavers.

The program assisted 70 individuals that had requested flood relief, and most homes were located in neighborhoods with at least 30% of households with income below the federal poverty line. Homes were eligible to receive up to $50,000 in assistance. Additionally, the city will provide inspections for installations every five years, and residents were required to commit to staying in the home for at least two years.

Fig: Dejan and Marcela Bajict standing next to the rain barrel at their RainReady home (Photo retrieved from

Sources: RainReady. (n.d.). CNT’s RainReady service to help Chicago flood victims recover from the 2013 storm. Retrieved from

The Adaptation Clearinghouse. (2017). Case study: RainReady’s Residential Flood Assistance program (Chicago, IL). Retrieved from