Climate change will affect everyone in the future, but the scale and intensity of change will depend on where you live. Equally the capacity of individuals and communities to adapt and change in the face of climate change also depends on where you live, because of how wealthy you and your neighbours are, of the type of house and neighbourhood you live in, and how effectively local policy makers and public service providers will respond to the challenge.
To address this major gap in knowledge, Oxford Brookes University is co-leading a cutting-edge research project which seeks to answer the question - how existing suburban neighbourhoods in the UK can be best adapted to reduce further impacts of climate change and withstand ongoing changes?
The project will provide more sophisticated and tested versions of DECoRuM, visualisation tools and hedonic pricing models to help decision-makers effectively manage and protect UK’s homes and communities against a changing climate.
Dr Rajat Gupta
Dr Rajat Gupta, Reader in Architecture and Climate Change in the Department of Architecture and Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development-Architecture Group, in the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment, has been awarded a 3-year research grant (from September 2009) by the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to undertake research on 'Adapting suburban neighbourhoods for a changing climate: identifying effective, practical and acceptable means of suburban re-design (SNACC)'. Smita Chandiwala from the Department of Architecture, is a Research Fellow on the project.
The total value of this multi-disciplinary project is £641,318, with University of West of England, Heriot-Watt University and a range of industry partners including ARUP, as well as researchers from overseas. SNACC is one of the six projects (out of 45 shortlisted in the second round) funded under the £6 million call on Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate (ARCC), which is part of the 10-year 'Living with Environmental Change' Programme (LWEC) programme.
SNACC focuses on suburbs because they are the most common type of urban area in the UK housing 84% of the population. The project will identify successful adaptation and mitigation measures: these are classed as those that perform well technically (i.e. they protect people and property from climate change impacts and mitigate against further climate change) but are also those that are the most practical and acceptable for those who have to make them happen. The project uses 6 neighbourhoods from 3 cities as case studies (Oxford, Bristol and Stockport). In these areas, key agents of change (e.g. home owners, elected members and planners) will help to determine successful adaptations.
The project will also extend the capability of the RIBA award-winning carbon-counting DECoRuM model (www.decorum-model.org.uk), to conceptualise and evaluate the exposure, vulnerability and adaptive capacity of our existing homes and neighbourhoods in UK. The modelling (of climate change, house prices and adaptation outcomes), will allow the participants to visualise what 'adapted' neighbourhoods will look like, and deliberative methods from social sciences, to generate a portfolio of adaptation strategies that are feasible, and fully endorsed by stakeholders. The findings will be communicated to a wide network of policy, practice, public and academic beneficiaries. The outcomes will contribute, practically, to securing a sustainable future for the UK's suburbs in the face of climate change.
Dr Rajat Gupta, the Principal Investigator from Oxford Brookes, said: "SNACC is a significant and timely contribution to a research community seeking to address the paucity of socio-technical research. SNACC will expand our research and expertise on climate change mitigation and carbon emission reduction, to evaluating the climate change adaptive capacity of our sub-urban neighbourhoods."
"The project will provide more sophisticated and tested versions of DECoRuM, visualisation tools and hedonic pricing models to help decision-makers effectively manage and protect UK’s homes and communities against a changing climate."
For further information, please contact Dr Rajat Gupta on firstname.lastname@example.org
News Item Dated:
9 January 2010
Dr Rajat Gupta
Department of Architecture
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
Oxford Brookes University