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Natural Resources and Urban Climate Strategies (OP2214)

   Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering

   Monday, January 24, 2022  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Newcastle United Kingdom Climate Science Data Analysis Environmental Engineering Geotechnical Engineering Engineering Environmental Sciences Physical Geography Pollution Statistics Urban Planning

About the Project

Cities around the world and in the UK develop local climate plans (Reckien at al 2019). Climate actions, i.e. pieces of infrastructures, require large amounts of natural resources (e.g. sand, aggregates, lithium and cobalt) that should be sourced sustainably. Whereas several studies have addressed the content of local climate plans, information on the impact on natural resources of these plans is largely missing. For effective local climate plans, assessment methodologies need to be developed (Salvia et al 2021) with detailed analysis of the impacts of these strategies using e.g. Life Cycle Assessment and Material Flow Analysis (Baars et al 2020). The student will develop an analytical framework to evaluate the impact of climate change strategies on infrastructures and natural resources, contrasting approaches in England and Scotland. The study will assess climate change scenarios and natural resources, employing methods like: strategy analysis and resource accounting (RQ1+2); infrastructure mapping and LCA (RQ3); calculating mitigation, e.g. GHG accounting linked to the Tyndall Carbon Calculator (Manchester University), and adaptation, e.g. flood defence efforts (RQ3+4), and develop/apply a risk matrix for RQ5.

In collaboration with cities including Newcastle, Manchester, North Tyneside the study will determine whether local climate plans represent an effective means to mitigate GHG emissions and adapt cities to climate change without compromising natural resources or geopolitical relationships. The study will consider the different sectors and scopes that are under the control of Local Authorities (direct influence) to impose the implementation of their plans. The student will acquire innovative natural and social science tools, such as GHG accounting methodologies, geospatial tools, LCA and MFA, as well as the network-based interview and analysis methods. The study will advance quantitative and qualitative measures and research methodologies of the perceived risk and value of climate change adaptation and mitigation infrastructures and natural resource provisions.

Funding Notes

This project is part of the NERC ONE Planet DTP. Each of our studentship awards include 3.5 years of fees (Home/EU), an annual living allowance (£15,650) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, etc).
Home and International applicants (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. Following the UKRI announcement regarding their new 30% UKRI international recruitment policy (to take effect from September 2021) both Newcastle University, and Northumbria University, have agreed to pay the international fee difference for all International applicants (inc. EU) who are awarded a DTP studentship. Interviews will take place in February 2022.
How to apply: View Website


Ref: Salvia,…Heidrich, O. (2021). Will climate mitigation ambitions lead to carbon neutrality? Renew. Sust. En. Rev. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2020.110253;
Reckien, D., (2018). How are cities planning to respond to climate change? J. Cleaner Prod. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.03.220; Baars, J.,.Heidrich, O. (2020). Circular economy strategies for electric vehicle batteries reduce reliance on raw materials, Nature Sustainability. doi:10.1038/s41893-020-00607-0.

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