OISD has helped secure a major £2m research grant from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) under the recent Sustainable Urban Environments 'Integration Across Scales' Call. The grant is one of only four awards made under the call, and OISD will be working in partnership with the Low Carbon Research Institute at the Welsh School of Architecture (WSA) at Cardiff University; The Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures at Salford University; and the University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering, Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD).
Photo credit: Tom Faulkner
Re-Engineering the City 2020-2050 (RETROFIT 2050): Urban Foresight and Transition Management will address the critical challenge for contemporary urbanism: how do cities develop the knowledge and capability to systemically re-engineer their built environment and urban infrastructure in response to climate change and resource constraints?
The research will explore a range of future-based scenarios (linked to models, visualisation techniques and pathway analysis) which can help key stakeholders achieve a more sustainable urban environment at a 'city region' scale in the UK by 2050. The research therefore aims to achieve a step change in current thinking in UK urban knowledge by focusing on two UK core cities (Greater Manchester and Cardiff/South East Wales).
The OISD work package (led by Principal Investigator, Professor Tim Dixon - Director of OISD and Professor of Real Estate - with co-investigators Professor Ray Ogden and Professor Georgia Butina-Watson) will focus on developing an Urban Technology Foresight Laboratory, which will, through interaction between scientific experts, practitioners and policy users, identify and characterise prospective disruptive technologies and systems innovations, and provide long-term guiding visions and technology-based roadmaps for urban retrofitting. The research will focus on energy, water and waste in particular.
Photo credit: Cardiff Harbour Authority
The proposal brings together an experienced, interdisciplinary team of leading academic researchers, with commercial and public sector research users. Commercial collaborators will include Corus and Arup. Regional collaborators will include Cardiff and Neath Port Talbot Borough Councils, WAG and AGMA/Manchester City Region Environment Commission. National dissemination will take place through the BRE, Core Cities, CABE, RICS, and the National Science Advisors of key Government Departments.
Professor Tim Dixon said: "We are delighted to win this grant. Cities are seen as both the problem and the solution to climate change and resource depletion, and this strongly interdisciplinary research aims to overcome the disconnect between two key issues; firstly, 'what' is to be done to the city, through technical knowledge, targets, technological options and the costs of re-engineering, and secondly, 'how' it will be implemented through institutions, and regulatory and governance systems. We will be focusing on Transition Theory in an urban context, which will provide both challenges and exciting opportunities for the team".
News Item Dated:
26th August 2010