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.

New research: key messages for policy-makers

By Bridget Elliott on 29th October 2013

Research findings published by UKERC suggest that opposition to nuclear power in Britain has fallen since 2005, despite the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident that followed the devastating Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami on the 11th March 2011.

New Book- ‘Good Cities, Better Lives’

By Bridget Elliott on 15th October 2013

In his latest book, internationally renowned author Sir Peter Hall investigates how the UK can create better towns and cities. ‘Good Cities, Better Lives: How Europe Discovered the Lost Art of Urbanism’ provides an analysis of the main issues for urban planning and development – in economic development and job generation, sustainable development, housing policy, transport and development mechanisms – and assesses where practice in the UK has fallen short.

A recent study featured in the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management explored how integrating top-down and bottom up approaches to choosing sustainability indicators (SIs) can address the limitations of each, to produce a practical set of SIs that reflect ‘local sensitivities’ of urban sustainability, in a particular urban context (residential-led urban regeneration).

Research briefing on Policy Reform and Community Energy

By Bridget Elliott on 6th August 2013

This briefing summarises some conclusions from the Community Innovation in Sustainable Energy (CISE) research project which involves researchers in the Sussex Energy Group (SPRU, University of Sussex) and 3S (University of East Anglia). Timed to inform the development of the UK Government’s Community Energy Strategy, the briefing comprises three main sections. First, it makes a case for government to play a role in supporting and further developing the nascent community energy sector in the UK.

This book presents a critique of the aims and policies for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). The author argues how initiatives for REDD have been widely endorsed by policy-makers despite many of the social and governance aspects of it being implausible. In particular, the book deals with the issue of the feasibility of carbon trading and other incentives that encourage land-owners and indigenous people, particularly in developing tropical countries, to conserve forests, rather than to cut them down for agricultural or other development purposes.

New research released last week has revealed that people in Britain are fully supportive of the idea of energy system change, highlighting that the public wants and expects change with regard to how energy is supplied, used and governed. The research, which was funded by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and carried out by a team from the Universities of Cardiff and Nottingham, examined the key factors which are influential in public assessment of proposed changes.

The Climate Outreach and Information Network have released a new report focusing on how to engage centre-right audiences more effectively around climate change. This report summarises and condenses academic and policy research on climate change communication into a set of principles, recommendations and core messages. Four narratives for engaging centre-right audiences more effectively are identified including: localism; energy security; the green economy/‘new’ environmentalism; and the Good Life.

The Government has released its first official National Adaptation Programme, outlining the work that is underway to enhance the UK's resilience to a changing climate and highlighting the significant commercial opportunity adaptation projects offer. The report responds to the climate impacts predicted in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and sets objectives, policies and proposals for addressing the risks identified.

The UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda was created in July 2012 with the purpose of establishing the best ways to reduce global poverty beyond 2015, the date at which the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire. This new report by the panel argues that a new development agenda should carry forward the spirit of the Millennium Declaration and the best of the MDGs, with a practical focus on issues such as poverty, hunger, water, sanitation, education and healthcare.

New website- ‘Future Bristol: Low Carbon 2050’

By Bridget Elliott on 25th June 2013

The City of Bristol has developed an online, interactive vision of what the city could look like in 2050. The website ‘Future Bristol: Low Carbon 2050’ presents two hypothetical scenarios, each featuring a different mix of low carbon measures, technology and infrastructure. The aim of the website is to prompt public discussion about how Bristol can become a low carbon city, and in particular, discover how the Bristol community feels about the two different scenarios (and the various low carbon features which make up each scenario).