How do we address energy consumption to meet low carbon targets? How do we address infrastructure ‘lock in' to improve the carbon performance of the urban environment? How do we engender and embed low carbon pathways and engineering solutions for demand reduction and power generation in cities?
Liveable Cities (liveablecities.org.uk) is a five year £6m research programme jointly between the Universities of Southampton, Birmingham (lead), UCL and Lancaster. It has the ambitious aim of transforming "the engineering of cities to deliver global and societal wellbeing within the context of low carbon living and resource security through developing realistic and radical engineering that demonstrates the concept of an alternative future." In concrete terms, this means assessing where cities are today, where we need to get to by 2050 in order to meet carbon reduction targets, how this might change under different scenarios and what might happen to people's wellbeing in the process.
Southampton's role within the project will be in four main areas. The first is to use existing datasets within a GIS framework, to develop tools for modelling present and future city emissions under different scenarios. The second focus is to test energy efficiency and low carbon solutions at the building and individual level, through real-time monitoring. The third area of study will be to assess the impact of the city-level and building-level solutions on wellbeing and the fourth area will address the related question of the extent to which policy makers and citizens find the solutions acceptable. The research will be carried out by a team from Engineering and the Environment's Energy and Climate Change Division, working together with researchers from Social Sciences.
EPSRC ref: EP/J017698/1
Low carbon cities; Energy efficiency