University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for November 2015

ARCC network news

Early career researchers – new skills development workshop, enhancing pathways to impact

20–21 January 2016, Oxford

Identifying the potential impact of research and understanding how to achieve this impact are key skills needed by researchers when developing proposals. Early career researchers (ECRs) are invited to this workshop focusing on improving the skills needed to plan and develop pathways to impact. With input from EPSRC and other experts, this will be an opportunity to learn about the approaches and qualities that help demonstrate potential impact.

This event is for ECRs working on EPSRC-funded projects with a focus on adaptation and resilience in the built environment and infrastructure sectors. There is no charge for participating, but registration is essential and places are limited to 25.

Feeling good in public spaces – dialogue series and call for research

Working with the Feeling Good Foundation, these knowledge exchange dialogues between practitioners and researchers are examining how people’s senses can be affected by the design of public spaces and building frontages, and the implications for urban place-making. Following the successful first discussion on Back to basics: human physiology, psychology and place-making, the second event in early 2016 will focus on Smellscapes & soundscapes.

More information shortly, but if you have research which explores the impact of urban form on auditory and olfactory senses, or on the impacts of climate change that could present future challenges for these sensory experiences, please do get in touch.

Project news

International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF) – opinion piece on the National Infrastructure Commission

Building on ICIF research, an opinion piece from Tom Dolan in Infrastructure Intelligenceexplores the potential opportunities the formation of the new National Infrastructure Commission creates and outlines a number of principles that the Commission, industry and the infrastructure research community all need to embrace to support the realisation of these opportunities.

Financing infrastructure and built environment adaptation to climate change

A new report explores the main challenges of financing public sector adaptation projects and highlights actions that government could take to improve access to finance mechanisms and to help maximise the contribution of adaptation actions to the local economy. The work was carried out by the University of Leeds in partnership with ClimateXChange and Adaptation Scotland, and supported by the ARCC network. The full report is available from the ARCC website (pdf, 470 KB).

Slow down our cities to make them more liveable

An interesting blog from Liveable Cities researcher Nick Tyler – Life in the pedestrian fast lane is no life at all – let’s slow our cities down instead – suggests that urban settings should be designed with people and a slower pace in mind, rather than as a means for vehicles to get around. More space to encourage stopping and socialising will help to make a more pleasant environment.

Other news

National Infrastructure Commission – Call for evidence on critical infrastructure challenges

Before the 2016 Budget, the National Infrastructure Commission will publish advice and recommendations to the government on three national challenges:

  • Improving connectivity between cities in the north of England
  • Large-scale transport infrastructure improvements in London
  • Improving how electricity demand and supply are balanced

The Commission is now looking to gather evidence and ideas from local and regional government, businesses, service providers, users and others to support and shape this work. Deadline for submission of evidence: 8 January 2016.

Share your views on London’s draft Sustainable Drainage Action Plan

London is increasingly at risk of sewer flooding during heavy rain. A partnership of the Mayor, Thames Water, the Environment Agency and London Councils has produced a draft strategyfor large-scale improvements in sustainable drainage infrastructure across the capital. The action plan is open for comment until 15 January 2016.

The plan also highlights the dangers of paving over domestic front gardens to provide parking spaces, suggesting that even ‘light rainfall’ could result in local flooding.

Making infrastructure climate-smart

A New Climate Economy report, Ensuring infrastructure is climate smart (pdf, 2 MB) explores the need for climate resilience to be built into infrastructure plans and policies, as well as satisfying climate targets from the relevant country. Development finance institutions should also develop and share best practice for mainstreaming climate change into infrastructure investment decisions.

Improving administration of the UK energy industry

The complex and multiple layers of administration in the UK’s energy industry are examined in a Policy Exchange report, Governing power. The paper discusses the options for rationalising management of industry codes, system operations and security of supply leading to a more flexible system in addition to lower administrations costs.

Making better use of smart city data

A special issue of the Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment collects the outputs of a session of the European Conference on Climate Adaptation. Smart and resilient cities: ideas and practices from the south of Europe suggests that although large quantities of data are collected from urban systems, this is not translating into improvements in knowledge disaster risk reduction in the population.

Building adaptive capacity in Scotland

In a blog for UKCIP, Sophie Turner from Adaptation Scotland explains how the Adaptation Learning Exchange (ALE) programme’s flexible approach is helping the public sector to design their adaptation plans. The programme has also highlighted the value of collaborative working between public bodies.

Homes School – online learning resource on sustainability approaches and house construction

Founded by Action Sustainability and with support from major industry partners, Homes School is a free online resource to increase home builders’ awareness and skills in ten main sustainability issues.

Solid wall insulation poses “unacceptable risk”

The Green Construction Board’s recent review found that solid wall insulation can lead to damp, mould and poor indoor air quality in older properties. The review identified poor workmanship and lack of clear standards as contributory factors, despite the best intentions of the ECO programme.


Why it’s sensible to stress test climate change adaptation plans @theCCCuk via @Acclimatise |

Big data & The Sims helping scientists to plan cities of the future | @ConversationUK

New @WHO report on health benefits of reducing short-lived climate pollutants

Air purifying bus shelter gives commuters breathing space @ArupThoughts |

What would a just city look like & how do we get there? The Just City Essays from @NextCityOrg |

New report & webinar – communicating flood risks for individuals & communities @ClimateOutreach

Do trees really help to clear urban air? The answer is not as simple as you might think @ConversationUK |

Why climate change could mean heavier bouts of summer rain in the UK @CarbonBrief @metoffice

Interesting blog on how energy companies deal with energy transition @Energy_Post |