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.

Smart cities: towards a new citizenship regime?

By Robert Lyons on 17th October 2017

Smart city policies and discourses have been criticised for being too technology-oriented, with not enough focus on citizenship. This research article, published in the Journal of Urban Technology (open access), analyses the role of the citizen as propagated in the new smart city standards of the British Standards Institution (BSI). It finds that while there is a strong emphasis on citizens as actors in smart city initiatives, the way their role is envisioned carries some shortcomings and contradictions.

Interdisciplinary whole systems research has attracted increasing interest both in the UK and internationally as a response to complex societal challenges such as the sustainable energy transition. Yet, this article for Energy Research & Social Science argues, this  research is often poorly understood by funders, commissioners, assessors and the researchers involved, in terms of its particular aims and needs.

More…

An article looking at the findings from a new study commissioned by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that the environment is playing a vital role in tackling the problem of poor air quality and helping to protect people’s health and reduce spending on healthcare.

More...

Brexit&Environment network

By Robert Lyons on 17th October 2017

In 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU. But what does Brexit mean for the environment, agriculture and fisheries? Whatever type of Brexit is delivered there will be significant implications for policy, politics and governance in the UK. 

It has been 20 years since two seminal publications about ecosystem services came out: an edited book by Gretchen Daily and an article in Nature by a group of ecologists and economists on the value of the world’s ecosystem services. This article in Ecosystems Services traces the history leading up to these publications and the subsequent debates, research, institutions, policies, on-the-ground actions, and controversies they triggered.

Trends in global CO2 and total greenhouse gas emissions

By Robert Lyons on 4th October 2017

This report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency finds that total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continued to increase in 2016, by about 0.5 per cent, reaching 49.3 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent.

More..

A new report by the Overseas Development Institute and Climate Action Network finds that from 2014 to 2016, EU governments provided 997 fossil fuel subsidies, provided through fiscal support, public finance and investment by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). In total, 11 European countries and the EU provided at least €112 billion in subsidies per year.

More...

While there is growing interest in participatory research to address issues around environmental sustainability, the focus of analysis tends to be on the results or products of the research rather than the processes involved. In this new book, the authors draw on their experience of specific mapping techniques, based on different systemic concepts and theories, that have helped facilitate, explore and capture different understandings of the relationships, perspectives and boundaries within situations involving environmental sustainability.

Powering Cities in the Global South

By Robert Lyons on 4th October 2017

A new report by the World Resource Institute (WRI) highlights fundamental energy challenges facing cities in the global South and offers practical solutions for how cities can meet the needs of the underserved city dwellers while charting development models that slow carbon emissions.

More...

Grazed and confused?

By Robert Lyons on 4th October 2017

A new report by the Food and Climate Research Network examines claims made by different stakeholders in the debate about so called ‘grass-fed’ beef, the greenhouse gases the animals emit, and the possibility that, through their grazing actions, they can help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

More...

Pages