Case Study

LCRI Researchers Release Book Urban Retrofitting for Sustainability

LCRI researchers have contributed to a new book entitled Urban Retrofitting For Sustainability: Mapping the transition to 2050.

Published by Routledge in January, the book brings together contributions from leading UK and international experts with the aim of identifying and explaining key trends in urban retrofitting which are likely to transform cities over the next 30 years. It examines the key drivers in the energy, water and waste and resource use arenas that are underpinning these changes, and draws on a broad range of interdisciplinary research to set this in the context of the wider agenda of urban retrofitting, both in the UK and internationally.

As concerns over climate change grow, and environmental issues are coming to the forefront of scientific research, many cities around the world are looking to achieve a low-carbon transition. In order to do this effectively, scientists need to consider the built environment, current energy use, and many various other factors such as green technology integration, waste issues, water management, and urban planning.

Much of the work in the book is based upon research conducted as part of the Retrofit 2050 project, led by the LCRI’s Professor Malcolm Eames. The book is co-edited by Professor Eames, Simon Lannon and Miriam Hunt of the Welsh School of Architecture, together with Professor Tim Dixon of Reading University.

Simon Lannon, who has led the urban modelling work for the LCRI LCBE project, also contributes a chapter exploring the use of system dynamics modelling approaches to support urban retrofit planning, along with Professor Eames and their colleague Yangang Xing. The book also includes a chapter on the future of solar energy in urban retrofit by Professor Stuart Irvine, leader of the LCRI’s SPARC Cymru programme.

Simon Lannon said “Data has shown that cities are responsible for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions.  Trends show that they are going to keep growing, and the future will see an expansion of megacities. It is important that we take action to look at current data, and develop modelling systems now, to be able to offer realistic and efficient carbon reduction systems and solutions for future projects, and the retrofitting of existing structures.”

Professor Malcolm Eames said “Cities are not just collections of buildings. As we see from the research in this book, they are complex systems that will require new approaches to making them carbon neutral and successfully managing the transition to urban sustainability. We need to develop compelling shared visions for our future cities and work with all stakeholders to implement urban retrofit programmes at the scale necessary to achieve these goals.”