Sustainability and the 24-hour City: A Collaboration with the Creative Arts

Lead Research Organisation: University of Salford


The issues surrounding urban sustainability are often considered amorphous and opaque, yet they are comprised of decisions and lifestyle choices made everyday by every city resident, worker and tourist. It is important that urban sustainability issues are made accessible to the everyday user of the city.This project proposes an installation at Urbis, Manchester's museum devoted to the city, and at the London Architecture Biennale 2006, in Clerkenwell. The purpose of the installation is to develop, through working in partnership with a collaborating artist and writer/dramatist, accessible and graphic representations of the 24-hour city: its problems, solutions and trade-offs. This will be achieved through the innovative and experimental use of artistic formats of communication possibly including, but not limited to, drama, sculpture, visual art, art driven by technology (sound, vision), storytelling and other media to be determined by the artists.The issues raised will come from research being conducted by VivaCity2020 and Aunt-SUE, covering such issues as environmental quality, security, public conveniences, housing, urban heritage conservation, transport and street design. The installation will reflect people's current perceptions of these issues, along with overlaps and trade offs (such as the need to incorporate personal safety and accessibility for mobility impaired people into a successful transport policy and designing secure and desirable places to live) and what changes need to be made in the future to make cities places people want to live, work and visit.The project will focus at least in part on case study work being undertaken through VivaCity2020. This case study work is researching designing environmental quality into city centre living and has developed a unique methodology to approach its research question. Outdoor air quality data is collected (CO, NO2, PM10 and temperature) along with noise levels; indoor air quality is collected (CO, CO2, temperature and humidity); and residents undertake a photo survey and sound-walk of their neighbourhood and are then interviewed. Case study sites include Clerkenwell and Manchester. This methodology has produced a lot of data about people's perceptions of their local area, along with photographs and sounds. This will be complemented by case studies from AUNT-SUE, especially the application of 'Design for All' principles to urban transport and street design, with particular reference to current initiatives by AUNT-SUE partners Transport for London and Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority. The artists will be asked to develop an exhibit that incorporates these elements and feeds back to each community (Clerkenwell and Manchester) resident's perceptions as well as comparisons between the two areas.


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