University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for June 2014

ARCC network news & events

ARCC Network Assembly 2014 – Urban areas as systems: adapting for the future

10–11 June 2014, Birmingham

The ARCC Assembly took place earlier this month to explore issues and challenges in the context of using evidence from research to promote a well-adapted and resilient built environment and infrastructure network. Over 120 participants heard from a variety of speakers: from European, national and local policy makers, from practitioners in the construction and infrastructure sectors and from researchers working on a diverse portfolio of research projects including citizens’ aspirations, handling disruption to transport systems, indoor air quality and maintaining energy supply systems.

Participants were also invited to identify themes and gaps where the ARCC network could help facilitate further synthesis and knowledge exchange activities in the future. This information is now being assessed but key emerging areas where evidence is required are:

  • smart adapting cities
  • buildings and extreme events
  • behavioural change and its role in adaptation.

More information on new themes and how to get involved will be added to the Network’s website.

Information from the Assembly is now available, including presentations, video and blog posts.

ARCC projects invited to submit further evidence to Climate Change Risk Assessment

The UK’s Climate Change Committee Adaptation Sub Committee (ASC) has invited ARCC projects to continue to submit evidence for consideration as part of the Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA). The UK’s first CCRA was published in 2012, and ASC are preparing the next version, due in early 2017.

Although the main call for evidence has now closed, at the ARCC Assembly the ASC’s Kathryn Humphrey invited ARCC projects to continue to provide evidence. The ASC team are particularly interested in having further information relating to infrastructure in general, infrastructure interdependencies, and to overheating and flooding as these relate to assets. Evidence should be submitted to, providing PDFs or links to open access versions of papers and reports. Details of the original call for evidence are available from the ASC.

ARCC annual report published

The ARCC network annual report for 2013 has been published and is available to download (pdf, 1.4 MB).

Project news & events

Future of Urban Living report – launch event

The University of Birmingham’s Policy Commission on Future Urban Living will launch its final report on Monday 7th July 2014 at the Houses of Parliament in London. The report will present information to help decision-makers who are planning for more sustainable and resilient urban areas. To attend, please contact Jane Arrowsmith, Events Officer, at or on 0121 414 7254. Please be aware that spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Collaboration on flood risk management

The Flooding and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Network ( has just held its first annual Assembly and has also unveiled its new website. FCERM is a collaboration of experts in flood risk management from academia, private and public bodies and voluntary groups to develop thinking and practice in innovative flood risk management. The website includes blogs, news and events that provide details of the work of FCERM. It is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Environment Agency and Living with Environmental Change. Follow FCERM on Twitter for regular updates.

The next FCERM.Net Research Snapshot webinar will be held at 12.15pm on 2 July. Professor Lindsey McEwan, UWE, will explore issues related to ‘Flood memory, lay knowledge and the developm.ent of community resilience to future flood risk’. All are welcome to participate.

Other news & events

Adaptation progress in UK

The Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change will launch its annual progress report on 9 July at Church House, London.  This report will include a focus on health and well-being, infrastructure and business. Climate UK is organising seven satellite screenings of the launch around England, which are free to attend.

MPs call for extra funding for flood defences

A committee of MPs has called on the Government to increase funding to help protect against the threat of future flooding. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee investigated the winter floods of 2013–14 and concluded that maintenance of existing flood defences should be given greater priority, alongside the requirement for new flood defence measures. The report also highlights confusion over where responsibilities for maintenance lie.

Post-Hurricane Sandy blue-green reconstruction

The winners of a competition to identify radical approaches to flood defences for New York have all adopted a blue-green response to the threat of flooding. The integration of natural approaches promises space for wildlife habitats, economic and leisure opportunities as well as protecting the city’s buildings and people.

Air conditioning contributes to urban heat

Researchers at Arizona State University have shown that use of air conditioning in US city buildings contributes to a rise in average night-time temperatures. Heat discharged by air conditioning during the day makes little difference to local temperatures, but at night it can raise the temperatures by 1⁰C, thus further fuelling demand for air conditioning.

IPCC reports as thematic briefings – buildings, cities and energy

The Institute for Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cambridge has produced a number of very accessible briefings and infographics on the latest Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report.  Each briefing takes a particular theme, with the most relevant to ARCC projects being on the implications for cities, buildings and energy. All the briefings are available to browse or download.

The Economic Significance of UK Science

The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) has published a report investigating the economic impact of UK Science, including the relationship between public and private funding for research (pdf, 1.3 MB).