Adapting cities for climate change

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Oxford Institute of Sustainable Development (OISD) is helping us understand what kinds of conditions cities will face in 2050.

The Oxford Institute of Sustainable Development (OISD),which is based in the School of the Built Environment, is part of a new £2m funded research consortium (called RETROFIT 2050) from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC).

The focus of the study will be Greater Manchester and Cardiff as well as South East Wales and the situations they will face in 10 to 40 years time in terms of buildings and infrastructure. The aim is to discover what challenges are posed by climate change and resource constraints and develop responses that can be applied to cities across the UK and internationally.

Director of the OISD, Professor Tim Dixon (pictured) said of the project, entitled 'Re-Engineering the City 2020-2050 (Retrofit 2050): Urban Foresight and Transition Management': "Cities are seen as both the problem and the solution to climate change and resource depletion, and this strongly interdisciplinary research aims to overcome the disconnect between two key issues; firstly, what is to be done to the city, through technical knowledge, targets, technological options and the costs of re-engineering, and secondly, how it will be implemented through institutions, and regulatory and governance systems."

The OISD will be working in partnership with the Low Carbon Research Institute at the Welsh School of Architecture (WSA) at Cardiff University; The Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures at Salford University; and the University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering, Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD).