Three networks have received investment totalling £3.6 million to explore ways for communities to become greener and more resilient and improve their economic and social wellbeing.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is investing in the networks delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Each network will focus on key challenges facing UK cities or environments in one of the three areas: green infrastructure development; low carbon connected digital infrastructure with considerations between urban and rural environments; and sustainable urban systems to become more resilient and adaptable across natural systems and infrastructure.
The ‘Port and Coastal Cities Towns Network’ will work towards improving the sustainability of urban systems and infrastructure in coastal UK, led by Professor William Powrie at the University of Southampton and a ‘Green, Connected and Prosperous Britain’ will look at ways in which better digital infrastructure can help to build more sustainable, economically successful communities, which will be led by Professor Sandra Dudley at London South Bank University.
In addition, ‘Reclaiming Forgotten Cities’ will explore ways to use urban green and blue spaces to help cities to adapt to current and future challenges, which will be led by Professor Prashant Kumar at the University of Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research.
The networks, which will begin in March 2020, include a team of expert researchers drawn from different disciplines.
EPSRC Director for Research Base Jane Nicholson said: “These cross-sector and multidisciplinary networks will bring engineering, environmental, arts and humanities and economic and social researchers together to identify opportunities and address complex challenges.
“All three networks speak directly to recent government strategies, including the Net Zero Strategy and the Levelling Up White Paper, and we look forward to seeing how their work can directly improve lives.”