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.

The Urban Heat project examined the potential role of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the development of local climate resilience. The final report provides a snapshot of the UK ‘heatwave planning’ and ‘community resilience’ national, regional and local policy and practice landscapes. The reports also offers a compelling, evidence-based analysis of the untapped potential of the VCS to contribute more fully to local planning and practice in climate resilience and emergency planning. 

A consultation tool written jointly by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) was launched at the Town and Country Planning Association’s ‘Are we planning for the climate challenge’ event. The new tool lets communities take the lead in planning their own low-carbon future. It adopts CSE and CPRE’s new ‘Future Energy Landscapes’ approach that shows that putting local people at the centre of energy planning can result in ambitious vision and targets.

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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.

Future flood prevention

By Robert Lyons on 9th November 2016

The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has published its Second Report of Session 2016-17 on future flood prevention. 

Researchers from Lancaster University and Save the Children have produced a new report on a study exploring children’s and young people’s experiences of the UK winter 2013/14 floods, in which they worked with them to develop ways of improving policy and practice to provide better support and enhance resilience.  

They found a number of factors which impacted on children’s wellbeing, including:

The SHARPER report by Arup & Partners focuses on how climate change impacts, continued urbanisation and an ageing population are affecting London, New York and Shanghai.  It highlights the risk of heatwaves to the elderly in London, using satellite data to obtain surface temperature maps and socio-economic data (factors such as population density, health, mobility and quality of housing) to develop a Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) for the city, to gain an understanding of where the population is most at risk. 

This study by researchers at Plymouth University and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, looked beyond the immediate benefit of beach cleaning on the local environment and examined the well-being, educational value and behavioural intentions of participants, compared with other coastal activities such as rock pooling or walking.  It found that the environment was perceived as less restorative when engaging in a beach clean but that the activity was more meaningful than the others. 

Sustainability Citizenship in Cities

By Editor on 15th June 2016

This new book, published by Earthscan/Routledge, seeks to explain how sustainability citizenship can manifest in urban built environments as both responsibilities and rights. Contributors elaborate on the concept of urban sustainability citizenship as a participatory work-in-progress with the aim of setting its practice firmly on the agenda.

A paper by Laurie Laybourn-Langton for IPPR looks at two developments in the UK energy system.

The first is the rise of local, community and cooperatively owned energy projects that produce renewable electricity, in some cases also supporting attempts to tack fuel poverty and provide other social and economic functions. 

Governments in several European countries have developed policies that encourage companies to share ownership of renewable energy projects with local communities. Shared ownership presumes that company and community actors have common goals, can form effective partnerships and negotiate fair outcomes. But there is a lack of research on shared ownership, in particular, how it is constructed by different actors, and the role of trust in shaping practice.

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