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A taxonomy of cities - using urban typologies to understand the infrastructural dynamics of the UK heat supply


Project Description

The School of the Built Environment is currently increasing its research capacity associated with urban scale sustainability. This doctoral research project involves an exploration of resource requirements in UK cities using the frame of urban metabolism; this involves an investigation of drivers of urban energy, water, material and food demands and their relationship to local infrastructure. This research will evaluate UK cities using the organism metaphor, developing a "taxonomy" of urban areas. When a consideration of changing building/technology stocks are made, along with urban form and regional economic profiles, spatially and temporally explicit urban metabolic models will be developed. Considerations of taxonomy and these urban metabolism models will then be used in a group of selected UK case study cities to examine infrastructural change for the low-carbon systems of the future. This examination will focus on the transition to carbon-free heating options, widening our understanding of which options are most suitable in different UK contexts.
The project will involve collaboration with selected UK cities to serve as case studies for the validation of metabolic profiles developed. These will include a diverse set of cases, with varying metabolic needs to serve a variety of economic activities and infrastructure systems. Ultimately the exploration of the interrelationship between these and their temporal and spatial dynamics will enable new insight in planning for regional transitions to low-carbon systems.

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level in a numerate discipline, ideally with a relevant MSc qualification. Experience with / knowledge of geospatial analysis, statistical modelling, environmentally-extended input-output modelling, and/or urban metabolism are desirable. Excellent organisational and communication skills are required. A keen interest to engage in urban sustainability research is essential.

How good is research at University of Reading in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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