Research and Resources

Explore sustainability-related research and resources here, including recently released reports, journal articles, online tools and databases. Use the left sidebar to filter resources by theme.

In 2015, 5.9 million children under age five died. The major causes of child deaths globally are pneumonia, prematurity, intrapartum-related complications, neonatal sepsis, congenital anomalies, diarrhoea, injuries and malaria. Most of these diseases and conditions are at least partially caused by the environment. This new UN/WHO report summarises the impact of polluted environments on child health.

Landlines: why we need a strategic approach to land

By Robert Lyons on 14th March 2017

This new CPRE pamphlet argues that the case for a national approach to land use is more pressing than ever by showing that England’s land is under an increasing multitude of pressures. The current, fragmentary approach to land use is failing to address the problems caused by often conflicting demands: environmental degradation, rising costs and harm to health and wellbeing.

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A new study published in the journal Environment International for the first time quantifies the global impact by combining data about air pollution in different countries with knowledge about how exposure to different levels of air pollution is associated with preterm birth rates.

A new report by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee argues that the government needs to set out new modelling on air quality following the High Court’s latest ruling and a new approach to air quality post 2019; an emissions reduction strategy that will allow the UK’s carbon budgets to be met; and effective noise mitigation measures enforced by an Independent Aviation Noise Authority. The Government must not allow our air quality standards to be watered down as a result of leaving the EU.

Overheating in Buildings: Adaptation Responses

By Robert Lyons on 15th February 2017

This Building Research & Information special issue explores the unintended rise in internal temperatures during warm weather, which can lead to heat stress and constitutes a public health problem.  Many countries do not currently rely on air conditioning for comfort.  However, the inability to create comfortable buildings in many temperate climate zones such as the UK where air conditioning was not necessary will have a perverse outcome by increasing summer electricity usage and create a dependence on air conditioning.

A recent paper looks at the ‘New Urban Agenda’ taking shape as a result of the UN-HABITAT III conference, which enshrined the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) with an exclusively urban focus. SDG 11, as it became known, aims to make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable through a range of metrics, indicators, and evaluation systems. The paper raises questions around the potential for reductionism in this new agenda, and argues for the reflexive need to be aware of the types of urban space that are potentially side-lined by the new trends in global urban policy.

New research published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) shows the huge potential of the Green Belt in terms of amenity and nature conservation.

CPRE is calling on the Government to prioritise investment in Green Belts in the forthcoming 25-year plan for the environment and make sure Green Belt protection is enforced.

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Severe flooding has occurred in 13 of the 16 years since 2000, with the worst floods in the north of England in 2015 costing the economy over £5 billion. Spending an ever-increasing amount on hard flood defences is unlikely to be a viable long term strategy, particularly in the face of increasing risks associated with climate change. This new paper from Green Alliance makes three recommendations that would lead to a greater level of resilience for either the same or lower cost than current approaches.

Housing capacity on suitable brownfield land

By Robert Lyons on 22nd November 2016

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has analysed the Government’s brownfield registers pilot scheme. Employing a variety of conservative methodologies, CPRE now estimates that the available data translates to a minimum of 1.1 million homes on suitable brownfield sites across England. More ambitious methodologies put the figure much higher, towards 1.4 million. This suggests that the Government has previously severely underestimated brownfield capacity.

Co-producing neighbourhood resilience

By Robert Lyons on 9th November 2016

New research in a special issue of Building Research & Information explores the social-ecological aspects of neighbourhood resilience through the use of co-production processes. It shows that the scale of the neighbourhood, its social networks and physical aspects are significant for creating resilience - the capabilities and capacities to thrive in response to uncertainty, threats, disturbances and shocks.

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