ReVISIONS - Regional Visions of Integrated Sustainable Infrastructure Optimised for NeighbourhoodS

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Architecture


This research proposal by the ReVISIONS consortium aims to provide the knowledge for public agencies and companies to plan regional infrastructure for transport, water, waste, and energy, (ranging from large capital schemes to small scale decentralised services), in a more coordinated and integrated way so as to maximise economic competitiveness, reduce environmental and resource impacts, and allow households to live more sustainably with an enhanced quality of life. This research will explore the inter-relationships between infrastructure policies and measures at the regional and local scales and explore the tensions and interactions that exist across these scales, and between sectors. The research builds on the expertise, data, models, and tools of the EPSRC sustainable urban environments projects of SOLUTIONS, (land use and transport), WaND, (water), and SUE-Waste, with additional expertise on energy generation and supply, and building energy demand. The research will aim to develop a holistic and practical integrated framework for the analysis and assessment of the sustainability of regional spatial development. It will devise and test alternative regional spatial strategies integrated across infrastructure sectors and spatial scales to investigate to what extent infrastructure selection, investment, regulation, and pricing can help to achieve more sustainable ways of living. At the regional scale these options will range from focussing new development on the core city of the region, to allocating most of the new dwellings within planned new developments dispersed throughout the region. Regional policies affect the location of development and the density of housing and hence the demand for transport, energy, water and waste services, which has major implications for infrastructure provision. Whilst regional policies can enhance the sustainability of the allocation of land and movement of resources at the regional scale, they also risk constraining sustainable development through limiting opportunities for sustainable action at the local scale. Local solutions clearly have implications at the regional level (via aggregate demand for travel and resources, and waste flows), and have an important role in making efficient use of existing infrastructure capacity and obviating the need for potentially unsustainable capital works. These local sustainability improvements will be re-aggregated to estimate the impacts at the regional level for each of these integrated regional options.The research will be based on case studies of the Greater South East regions, (London, East and South East of England), and contrasted with a case study of a lower growth more polycentric region, such as the North East of England. The research will be carried out in parallel with similar case studies of city regions in other parts of the world to compare and contrast regions of similar size to the Greater South East but at different stages of development. These cases studies will include Beijing, Sao Paulo, and possibly Los Angeles.Each option will be assessed across a wide range of criteria encompassing environmental impacts, use of resources, economy, social inclusion, health, and other quality of life factors. The options will be compared within a multi-criteria assessment framework in full consultation with end users and stakeholders. This will identify the most robust options that perform well for different value judgements and different future scenarios. The research will deliver generic normative guidance and decision support tools for use by central and regional government departments and agencies, regional assemblies, utility companies, developers, planners and designers.


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Description The research has produced a decision support tool for national, regional and local planning in the form of a spatial equilibrium model covering the UK and with greater disaggregation in the Wider South East. This model is consistent with macro economic and social accounting and allows alternative assumptions affecting exports, public expenditure and productivity of labour. It has been calibrated for the base year of 2001 and forecasts have been produced for 2031 and less detailed for 2051.

Exploitation Route The research finds are relevant to planning authorities and agencies responsible for urban development, communities, and environment, property developers, consultants, and providers of infrastructure for buildings, energy, transport, water and waste.

The project has developed an integrated economic and spatial modelling tool for testing economic and spatial development policies within a regional context. The research has developed a regional economic and spatial modelling tool. This can be used
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Energy,Environment,Transport

Title Online weight elicitation for MCA 
Description System for eliciting multi-criteria weights and stakeholder profiles using the world wide web. Drupal web server application for use with desktop MCA, School of Geography, University of Leeds. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2011 
Description Sustainability Appraisal of Development Plans: Experiences from the UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Experiences from the UK on sustainability appraisal of development plans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009