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Engineering Cities

Engineering Cities

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research on Dec 07, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Published by Newcastle University NE1 7RUCopyright © Newcastle University 2009ISBN 978-0-7017-0225-0
Disclaimer statement
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracyof the information supplied herein, Newcastle Universitycannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein arethose of the authors.
Copyright statement
This publication (excluding logos) may be reproduced freeof charge in any format or medium for research, privatestudy or for circulation within an organisation. This issubject to it being reproduced accurately and not used ina misleading context. The material must be acknowledgedas copyright and the publication should be referenced as:Hall, J.W., Dawson, R.J., Walsh, C.L., Barker, T., Barr,S.L., Batty, M., Bristow, A.L., Burton, A., Carney, S.,Dagoumas, A., Evans, S., Ford, A.C., Glenis, V., Goodess,C.G., Harpham, C, Harwatt, H., Kilsby, C., Köhler,J., Jones, P., Manning, L., McCarthy, M., Sanderson,M., Tight, M.R., Timms, P.M. and Zanni, A.M. (2009).Engineering Cities: How can cities grow whilst reducingemissions and vulnerability? Newcastle University,October, 2009. (ISBN 978-0-7017-0225-0)For further information contact:Professor Jim HallTyndall Centre for Climate ChangeSchool of Civil Engineering and GeosciencesNewcastle University.email: jim.hall@ncl.ac.uk.
Climate change represents a long term challenge for agreat city like London. Ever since the formation of theGreater London Authority (GLA) in 2000, we have beenmonitoring the science of climate change and workingto understand the implications for London. The policieswe have implemented and continue to develop, on thebasis of science, have the dual aims of reducing London’semissions of greenhouse gasses (roughly 46 Mt in2005) and protecting London and its inhabitants from the
unavoidable impacts of climate change, including oods,
droughts and heat waves.In 2005, when the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change
Research rst proposed to focus attention on climate
change in London, we in the GLA were keen to understandhow Tyndall Centre research could complement thestudies and policies that we were in the process of developing. It was clear that the systems concept thatthe Tyndall Centre researchers had proposed had thepotential to answer previously intractable questionsabout how climate change interacts with urban areas. Weworked with the Tyndall Centre team to specify questionsthat we required new science to answer. Those questions
have evolved over the four years of research, reecting
the changing policy agenda in London and our improvingunderstanding of the insights that the Tyndall Centre’sUrban Integrated Assessment Facility (UIAF as it hasbecome known) can be expected to provide.As the results summarised in this report indicate, climatechange in cities is not a simple story. Cities are complexsystems that evolve over a range of time and spacescales. Land use, buildings and physical infrastructurechange over timescales of decades, so we need tounderstand the implications of those changes to avoidbeing saddled with long term problems. The TyndallCentre research has aimed in particular to understandthe implications of climate, population and the economyas drivers of long term change. UIAF simulates theinteractions between these processes in order to developscenarios of change at spatial scales of relevance todecision makers. The work has focussed upon London,but recognises that London is embedded within national,European and global systems of trade, transport,technology and demography. Whilst applied to London, themethods and insights are potentially transferable to citieselsewhere in the UK and the world.
The Mayor has only limited powers to inuence how
London develops. By mapping out the process of longterm change, the UIAF can help us to understand thepotential effectiveness of the policy instruments at our disposal and their implications in terms of a range of different indicators, including climate impacts and carbondioxide emissions. As we work this year to develop thenext London Plan, it is particularly important that weunderstand the synergies and trade-offs between our aimsfor London to be a prosperous, attractive and sustainablecity. We have been pleased that, thanks to NERC supportfrom the Policy Placement Scheme, Dr Richard Dawsonfrom the Tyndall Centre research team has been ableto work with us using the UIAF to analyse some of thefutures under consideration in the London Plan. We havecome to recognise how integrated modelling of the typethat is delivered by the UIAF can help to bring differentstakeholders together in order to develop commonunderstanding of processes and consequences of longterm change. That collective understanding is essentialif we are to manage change rather than becoming itsvictims.Getting to a point where the Tyndall Centre researchcould be brought to bear on policy questions of immediaterelevance has required patience. Three years may notbe a long time in terms of a research project, but it hasbeen in the life of the GLA. We recognise that generatingnew insights can take time, particularly in interdisciplinaryresearch teams, of which the Tyndall Centre CitiesProgramme has been an outstanding example. Throughregular advisory meetings and a newsletter reportinginterim results, the GLA and other London stakeholdershave been able to keep in touch with the research, sothat our thinking and that of the Tyndall Centre team hadprogressively converged during the course of the researchprogramme.We are still assimilating the insights presented in thisreport. We have a host of questions (for example
concerning pluvial ooding; or introduction of local heat
networks) that the Tyndall Centre research has not yetbeen able to address. We hope that some of thesequestions will be answered by the follow-on projectsthat the Tyndall Centre Cities Programme has spawned.For example, the ARCADIA project (Adaptation andResilience in Cities: Analysis and Decision making usingIntegrated Assessment), funded from EPSRC’s Adaptationand Resilience to a Changing Climate programme, willfurther develop the UIAF to design adaptation pathwaysthat, step-by-step, can transition urban areas to a more
resilient conguration. That, however, is for the future. The
purpose of this report is to summarise the results of four years of Tyndall Centre research, which has advanced our understanding of climate change in London and, I believe,
is a genuine rst in terms of interdisciplinary climate
change research.
Alex Nickson
Strategy Manager for Climate Change Adaptation andWater Greater London Authority 

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