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Urban research

The following list provides a selection of current and recent urban and urban-related research projects involving researchers in EPRG.

Ecosystem services and disservices in urban Bangladesh and Tanzania

What access and exposure do the urban poor have to green and water ecosystem services and risks? We are answering this question through our work on ‘Institutions for urban poor’s access to ecosystem services: A comparison of green and water structures in urban Bangladesh and Tanzania’. This 30 month project is part of NERC-ESRC-DFID’s Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA).

It is carried out in collaboration with colleagues in IDPM and the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, BRAC University, Ardhi University and Lancaster University. The project builds on the recently completed EU CLUVA project.
Researchers: Clive Agnew, James Rothwell.  Contact James for more information about the project:

Developing a risk assessment approach for forest fire at the rural-urban interface: Potential of the wildfire threat analysis framework

Knowledge Transfer Associateship with the Forestry Commission, funded by NERC Probability, Uncertainty and Risk in the Environment (PURE)
Researchers:  Julia McMorrow, Aleksandra Kazmierczak, Jonathan Aylen (Alliance Manchester Business School.  Contact Julia for more information about the project:

Climate Change and Urban Vulnerability in Africa (CLUVA)

What are the prospects for using green infrastructure and urban ecosystem services for climate adaptation in African cities? We spent three intensive years developing methods and generating new knowledge to  assist with the process of managing climate risks, reducing vulnerabilities and improving urban resilience to climate change in sub-Saharan African cities. The project used five case study cities, one each from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal and Tanzania, and a research partnership approach with local Universities and stakeholder networks. The work was funded through the EU 7th framework programme ENV.2010.2.1.5-1
Researchers: Sarah Lindley, Clive Agnew, Gina Cavan, Susannah Gill.  

Contact Sarah for more information about the project.

Tackling urban diffuse pollution using green infrastructure

With Red Rose Forest, the Environment Agency, Salford City Council, Urban Vision.
Researcher: James Rothwell

Roadside gully pots as hotspots of urban diffuse pollution

With The Environment Agency, Red Rose Forest, and Liverpool John Moores University
Researcher: James Rothwell

Climate Just

We all know that climate change is an issue, but who is most affected and why? The Climate Just project developed from a novel ethical and empirical analysis of the distribution of vulnerabilities to climate change in the UK carried out in 2010-11. Launched in February 2015, the Climate Just website has been designed to help local authorities and service providers in England understand who is most vulnerable to climate change in their area, and what they can do about it. The website has been developed in collaboration with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Environment Agency as co-funders and with Climate UK as representatives of the site’s core user group.  
Researchers: Sarah Lindley, Aleksandra Kazmierczak, Angela Connelly.

Contact Sarah for more information about the project.

INTERREG Green and Blue Space Adaptation for Urban Areas and Eco Towns (GRaBS) 2008-11

This knowledge transfer project aimed to improve regional decision and policy making process in relation to planning and development of new and existing urban areas in nine EU member states in the context of climate change (14 partners, 8 countries). It built on research findings from the EPSRC funded ASCCUE project.
Researchers: Sarah Lindley, Gina Cavan, Susannah Gill with Jeremy Carter and Richard Kingston (Planning and Environmental Management)

Sustainable cities: Options for Responding to Climate cHange Impacts and Outcomes (SCORCHIO) 2007-10

How can we expect urban temperatures to change in the future and which parts of cities will be most affected? This project developed a new evidence base and complementary tools that used the latest forecasts from UKCIP to help planners, designers, engineers and users to adapt urban areas, with a particular emphasis on heat and human comfort. The project was carried out by teams in Manchester, Sheffield, UEA and Newcastle Universities. It was funded by EPSRC under grant reference EP/E017398/1 as is part of the EPSRC Adaptation and Resilience in the Context of Change Network.
Researchers: Sarah Lindley, Paul Harris with Martin Gallagher (SEAES) and Raymond Agius (Institute of Population Health).

Contact Sarah for more information about the project.

Identification and verification of Ultrafine Particle affinity zones in urban neighbourhoods

How are Ultrafine fine particles distributed across cities? This project analysed spatial and temporal patterns across Greater Manchester as the basis for developing an improved understanding of population exposure.
Researchers: Sarah Lindley, Paul Harris with Martin Gallagher (SEAES) and Raymond Agius (Institute of Population Health). 

Contact Sarah for more information about the project.

Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change in the Urban Environment (ASCCUE) 2003-2006

What sorts of adaptation strategies do we need to respond to the challenges of climate change? This project considered urban climate risks and adaptation associated with human comfort, greenspace and the built environment as ‘exposure units’. It was funded by EPSRC under grant reference GR/S19233/01 and carried out as part of EPSRC’s Building Knowledge for a Changing Climate programme (now the Adaptation and Resilience in the Context of Change (ARCC) Network The research was carried out by teams in Manchester,  Cardiff , Southampton and Oxford Brooks Universities. Project partners included the Town and Country Planning Association, BRE, ARUP, Environment Agency, RTPI, ODPM, ABI, SE and NW climate groups, Ciria, Institute of Public Health, Cabe Space, and English Partnerships.


To what extent does your health depend on the air quality where you live? The ESCAPE project carried out the most comprehensive study to date on the long-term health effects of outdoor exposure to fine PM and NO2 air pollution in Europe. Coordinated by Utrecht University, it involved 24 universities and research institutes. The Manchester work involved monitoring, GIS and statistical analysis of exposures and health outcomes for a Manchester-based children’s cohort and contributions to the Europe-wide meta-analyses. The work is helping to inform the next generation of European air quality standards.
Researchers: Sarah Lindley with Raymond Agius (Institute of Population Health), Anna Molter, Frank de Vocht and Angela Simpson.