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Centre for Environment and Society Research

TEE launch new research journal

The research team in the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and Environment (TEE) have launched a new research journal – the Journal of TEE.

The journal features contributions from research staff and students engaging in cross-disciplinary work across the Faculty, and covers subjects such as sustainable procurement in the construction industry, canal locks and mobile business intelligence.

In his guest editorial, Professor in Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Mark Reed says: “The beginning of the journal coincides with the beginning of new research strategies for the University and Faculty, which aim to consolidate research in areas of research excellence that are relevant to challenges faced by UK and global society. More than ever before, it is becoming necessary to work across disciplinary boundaries to address such complex and dynamic challenges.”

Read the Journal of TEE.

The Journal of TEE will be published annually. 


UK Peatland Code launched by Environment Minister

A new tool setting out guidance and quality standards for sustainable business investment in peatlands has been launched by Environment Minister Richard Benyon.

With implications for chartered surveyors, planners and other rural professions, the UK Peatland Code was launched at the IUCN UK Peatland Programme conference and will provide advice to businesses and clients on future land use and income generating opportunities.

The development of the UK Peatland Code, led by Birmingham City University, will allow corporations the opportunity to sponsor UK-based projects linked to their brands as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility portfolio, with the potential to turn such investments into future assets.

Watch our research video and find out more about this project.


New book on town planning in Birmingham to be published

As part of a series of reprinted classic town planning studies, Routledge will this week publish a new book focusing on the planning and rebuilding of Birmingham in the 1940s and 50s. 'When We Build Again' is a reprint of two classic books, with a new introduction written by Peter Larkham, Professor of Planning at Birmingham School of the Built Environment.

Read more about 'When We Build Again'


Where town meets countryside - a potential home for economic growth?

Alister Scott, Professor of Environmental and Spatial Planning at Birmingham City University, delivered a keynote talk at the Royal Town Planning Institute's annual Planning Convention. The Convention covered a broad vision of the future we should be planning for, drilling down into the practical mechanisms planners on the ground are using to create growth.

Read more about Professor Scott's talk


University academics celebrate publication of book on the Blitz and its legacy

Academics at Birmingham City University are among the contributors to a new book on the Blitz and its legacy, which explores the large scale urban rebuilding made necessary by bomb damage during the Second World War.

Peter Larkham, Professor of Planning, and David Adams, Lecturer in Planning, at Birmingham School of the Built Environment (BSBE), part of Birmingham City University, have written about the restructuring of urban areas in the book, called 'The Blitz and its legacy: wartime destruction to post-war reconstruction'.

The book was edited by Professor Larkham and Dr Mark Clapson of the University of Westminster. Other contributors cover the restructuring of urban areas not just in the UK but also in France, Germany and Japan. Professor Larkham said: "The cities we live in today were in many cases rebuilt from the rubble of wartime, and understanding why they were built this way helps us value the memory of the past but also to plan for a better urban future."

Birmingham City University will be hosting a free one-day workshop on Monday 25 March to mark the book's release and discuss other key developments related to the book's themes, including the provision of cycling facilities in the re-building of UK road systems and the post-war planning behind the redevelopment of UK cities and towns.

The event takes place at Birmingham City University's Millennium Point campus and runs from 9.30am until 4pm. For more information, contact Professor Peter Larkham.


Rural urban fringe research excellence recognised at Living with Environmental Change Annual Assembly - "Journey towards Adaptation"

Alister Scott highlights the power of the game as an effective medium to engage science with policy.


Contributions to the Countryside and Community Research Institute 2012 Conference

Alister Scott gave a keynote paper at the CCRI "New directions in rural policy" conference, and RUFopoly was available to play!


Professor Alister Scott's interview on the "Today" programme

Listen to Alister's interview on current planning issues with John Humphrys.


Dr Mark Reed joins the Centre as Reader in Interdisciplinary Environmental Research

We are delighted to announce that Mark Reed, who recently gave a Faculty seminar on interdisciplinary research, has just been appointed to an innovative position as Reader in Interdisciplinary Environmental Research. He will work with CESR and the Birmingham School of the Built Environment (BSBE) because of his previous experience with us, enabling us in the first instance to benefit from his outstanding research track record involving some £10 million over the last five years and current research contracts.

His value has been recognised at Faculty and University level because his international reputation will add significant value to our position as we move towards the Research Excellence Framework 2014. He has just submitted a further research bid for £1.2million funding, for example, and he will significantly raise the profile of Birmingham City University and BSBE as a 'brand' on the global stage of interdisciplinary environment-related research, with significant benefits in terms of student recruitment and teaching.


PhD Awarded

CESR staff congratulate Dr Terri Knight on the award of her PhD for her research in 'Understanding commercial property development from the trader developer's perspective.'


Connecting Communities

CESR's Part 1 bid for a major award from the ESRC/AHRC Connected Communities programme has been successful. The full bid (Part 2) stage includes a full formal public consultation in London in late February. The project value is £2 million, and we are working with some of the UK's best research universities and researchers. The project as a whole develops from the work of Alister Scott and Ken Crawford developing the 'big community university' concept in 2011.


Managing Environmental Change at the Rural-Urban Fringe

A conference is being held in February to disseminate the findings of the research project Managing Environmental Change at the Rural-Urban fringe (MECRUF). The event is the culmination of 18 months of research to examine three fundamental questions: How and why is this "rural-urban fringe" changing? And how can we more effectively understand and manage change in places of such uncertainty, diversity and transition?

Venue: Millennium Point, Birmingham, B4 7XG

Date/Time: 29 February 2012 10am - 4.30pm

Download more information about this event

Download the draft agenda


Playing around in the Rural Urban Fringe?

The battle to protect the green belt and the countryside can now be fought out on a board game which researchers at Birmingham City University have developed as a decision-making teaching tool.

Read more about Playing around in the Rural Urban Fringe.


What will the world be like in 2050?

Students at Dudley College have been putting together their ideas of how life might be in 2050. As part of a project initiated by the Birmingham School of the Built Environment (BSBE) and The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), students studying art and design, engineering and A levels, worked in teams to put together their vision of what mid-century life might be like.

Read more about What will the world be like in 2050?


2011 Planning Research Conference is popular

One hundred abstracts have been received for the 2011 UK/Ireland Planning Research conference, jointly organised by the Centre for Environment and Society Research and the University of Birmingham. The event will be held on 12-14 September. Peter Larkham, Professor of Planning and one of the event's organisers, said "we are delighted at the volume and quality of papers submitted. Despite the downturn in planning activity caused by the economic situation, and the current Government's antipathy towards planning, this shows a clear concern for planning appropriately and a high standard. The number of international papers also shows the value placed on British planning and planners as a focus for examining experiences across the world".


New professor for CESR

Birmingham City University has just announced the award of the title "Professor of Spatial Planning and Governance" to Dr Alister Scott.

Alister joined us only 18 months ago and was very quickly promoted to Reader in Spatial Planning. and the new title of Professor reflects his contribution to the work and profile of the Research Centre. He has successfully attracted funding for the innovative RELU (Rural Economy and Land Use) project, other bids are in progress, several papers have been accepted for publication in prestigious journals, and he is supervising two new research students. You can also follow Alister on Twitter.


New Publications for CESR

The Centre for Environment and Society Research is thrilled to announce the acceptance of two new book proposals for publishing.

The Blitz and its Legacy edited by Birmingham City University's Peter Larkham and Mark Clapson (University of Westminster) is due to be published by Ashgate in 2012. The book draws on a recent successful interdisciplinary conference organized by Mark and Peter in September 2010. Get more information on other project work relating to reconstruction post World War 2.

Lairds, Land and Sustainability: Scottish Perspectives on Upland Management is to be published by Edinburgh University Press.


Re-embodying Construction Conference

Professor David Boyd, director of the Centre for Environment and Society Research, presented a keynote address at the 2010 annual conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management, to an audience of 180 people from 20 countries. The address, entitled 'Re-Embodying Construction', explored the philosophical and practical consequences for the construction industry of concepts of Embodiment. Embodiment draws the physicality of human being into an understanding of the world, thus making a direct connection with the way we think and act in our practice. Professor Boyd's argument challenged the conference to make its research closer to, and more aware of, practice - thus to re-embody construction.