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.

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.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy has produced a guidance note to aid community groups identify suitable areas for onshore wind development in their Neighbourhood Plan. 

Policy changes from June 2015 have enabled local people to have the final say on planning applications for wind turbines.  The government introduced two pre-conditions that onshore wind proposals would have to meet in order to get planning permission:

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has released two reports on the effect of a changing climate in care settings and on public health. Care provision fit for a future climate is one of the first studies to examine the risks of overheating in the UK care sector.  The study found that there are already overheating risks in care homes today, which will be exacerbated by climate change.  It recommends that designers, development teams, care home managers and staff need to recognise that excessive heat as well as cold can be a health risk.  It also recommends enhanced regulations, stand

Stalled Spaces Glasgow

By Editor on 10th February 2016

‘Stalled Spaces’ is a community-led city-wide project initiated by Glasgow City Council in partnership with Glasgow Housing Association that focuses on the temporary use of vacant land, under-utilised open space and sites earmarked for development though stalled, to deliver a range of initiatives that promote health and wellbeing.  

Derwenthorpe is being developed as an urban extension of over 500 new homes in York to provide a socially and environmentally sustainable community.  The vision was to offer “a potential blueprint for family living in a truly sustainable community ‘fit for the twenty-first century’” (Derwenthorpe Business Plan, 2009).

In this recent study, researchers at the University of Essex and the Centre for Sustainable Energy used deliberative focus groups to understand what is needed to gain acceptance and engagement from domestic users with smart meters and prospective smart meter enabled services (SMES).

The Centre for Sustainable Energy is running a two-year project giving support to neighbourhood planning groups who are keen to integrate climate change and fuel poverty objectives into their neighbourhood plans.  CSE has updated its guidebook to Low Carbon Neighbourhood Planning, which aims to provide a living document collating policy examples, good practice and helpful ideas from around the country, covering renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, flooding and green infrastructure.