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 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. 

‘Brexit means Brexit’: but what does Brexit mean for the environment?  In this new study, Dr Charlotte Burns (University of York), Professor Andrew Jordan and Dr Viviane Gravey (University of East Anglia) explore what Brexit may mean for UK environmental policies and governance processes by comparing two scenarios: a ‘soft’ and a ‘hard’ Brexit.

Environment and climate policy evaluation

By Editor on 14th September 2016

The European Environment Agency’s new publication examines more than 40 years of environment policymaking in Europe.  It includes an overview of the types of public intervention that are evaluated in policy evaluations, discussing the differences among the goals, objectives and targets of these. 

The report provides an ‘evaluator’s toolbox’, with examples of evaluation approaches;  evidence collection processes and methods and examples of analytical methods.  Finally, it presents the directions that the EEA intends to pursue in the area of policy evaluation. 

Happy Planet Index 2016

By Editor on 27th July 2016

For the fourth time, the New Economics Foundation has ranked countries all over the world based on how efficiently their residents are able to live long, happy lives using environmental resources.  The overall results challenge the conventional wisdom that the wealthiest economies are the most successful, highlighting success stories in Latin America and Asia Pacific – where residents are enjoying relatively high and equally distributed life expectancy and wellbeing, whilst leaving a smaller ecological footprint than other more advanced economies. 

A new paper by Caroline Wilson and Melissa Marselle, published in Energy Research & Social Science, examines the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) as a possible aid to developing behaviour change to reduce energy consumption.  The researchers mapped components of behaviour change programmes, as identified in four EU guidance documents, onto the BCW.  Most components were readily coded to the BCW framework, with energy price being the only main component under-represented.  Based on this work, they believe that the BCW offers a useful aid for the systematic design and development aro

A new report by Harry Quilter-Pinner and Laurie Laybourn-Langton for IPPR highlights the impact of air pollution on public health in the UK, and London in particular, where the mortality impact of nitrogen dioxide and particulates in 2010 was estimated to be equivalent to up to 9,400 premature deaths.  Air pollution is therefore the second most significant factor impacting on public health in London, after smoking.  The report finds that London is breaking legal and WHO limits for particulate matter; most air pollution in London is caused by road transport, of which diesel vehicles are the

European Perceptions of Climate Change

By Editor on 13th July 2016

The European Perceptions of Climate Change (EPCC) is a two-year project coordinated by Cardiff University, with Climate Outreach and teams from France, Norway and Germany, with the central aim of designing and conducting the first ever theoretically grounded cross-national survey of public perceptions of climate change and energy transition in Europe.  This discussion paper provides a detailed overview of the socio-political context in each of the four participating nations, divided into five sub-sections:

A new report by the Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds, commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, examines how automation and smart connectivity in road vehicles might be combined and integrated into the mobility system to have the most positive impact on energy efficiency and carbon reduction.  It suggests that the impacts of automation on energy demand and carbon emissions are highly uncertain but that the combination of connectivity, automation plus shared ownership has the potential to lead to a substantial reduction

The European Environment Agency has published a report stressing the benefits of investing in long-term preventative measures that cities should take to improve their resilience to climate change events, such as more extreme flooding or prolonged heatwaves.  It gives an overview of progress made by in adaptation by cities in the last couple of years and poses the questions: Is what cities are already doing leading to attractive and climate-resilient cities?  If not yet, what needs to change? 

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.