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2017 Report – University of Warwick, Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority

By on June 17, 2017
General Information
University of Warwick

Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority

United Kingdom Coventry

Person filling out the report
Stephanie Whitehead, Sustainable Cities GRP Programme Administrator

Associated UNI Thematic Hubs
Informal Urbanism
Climate Change
Urban Regeneration
Safer Cities
Urban Governance
Urban Form

Other academic network affiliations

Other research network affiliations

Collaborations with UNI members in academic activities

Collaborations with UNI members in research initiatives


Undergraduate Programmes
BASc Global Sustainable Development (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/schoolforcross-facultystudies/gsd)

Master Programmes
Details of all of the below can be found at http://www.wisc.warwick.ac.uk/training/msc-programme/

MSc in Communications and Information Engineering: This new flagship Warwick-based MSc teaches a unique combination of electronic engineering and data analytics, with the aim of applying classroom knowledge to real-world challenges in the urban context.

MSc in Data Analytics: The Warwick MSc in Data Analytics is a new course that taps into the pulse of contemporary computer science. The knowledge taught is aimed at addressing real-world challenges related to big data analysis, informatics and urban science.

MSc in Urban Informatics and Analytics: This new interdisciplinary MSc responds to the demand for specialists in urban science with both theoretical understanding and practical analytic skills. It provides the training to critically engage with urban and social data, allowing a deeper understanding of the science of cities and how one can utilise that knowledge to make cities better and safer places to live.

PhD Programmes
Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Urban Science http://www.wisc.warwick.ac.uk/training/doctoral-training-programme/
This is a new and innovative type of doctoral training programme:

It makes use of multi-institutional collaboration on an international scale;
It promotes an international student experience – students will work alongside a larger student cohort from New York University, City University New York, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Toronto and IIT Mumbai;
It allows students unprecedented access, both in the UK and overseas, to city operations, to utilize existing and newly emerging data streams, and to explore and deploy novel urban sensors in order to model world cities as systems of living networks;
It enables UK students to work alongside industry luminaries, leaders in public service and citizens, to understand, measure and improve urban systems;
It promises to train 50+ PhDs who have received discipline-defining training from six world-class institutions.

Other Programmes
Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority
Warwick has designated sustainable cities as a global research priority (GRP). We actively support and promote world-class multidisciplinary research that addresses challenges in developing sustainable cities. We seek to build collaborative research partnerships, linking our academics with city leaders, institutions and the global business community to seek solutions to complex problems related to cities. The GRP runs an annual programme of free to attend, research focused events and meetings that explore different aspects of research relevant to sustainable cities.

Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities
To enable future cities to deliver services effectively, efficiently and sustainably, while keeping their citizens safe, healthy, prosperous, and well informed, requires a step-change in knowledge and understanding.
WISC focuses on the means to gather city-scale data, and the apparatus to transform this data into knowledge, capitalising on emerging developments in big data and in interdisciplinary solutions to the world’s urban challenges. It delivers training, industry partnerships, research and knowledge exchange.

Resilient Cities Lab
The Resilient Cities Laboratory (ResCityLab) at the University of Warwick is a research grouping which co-ordinates and facilitates social science-based research into the study of future challenges facing urban areas. The ResCityLab is integrated into the University’s research framework for the advancement of ‘Urban Science’ through active engagement with the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities (WISC) and a range of international academic and business partners.

Warwick Creative Exchange
Warwick Creative Exchange is a network of University of Warwick academics, and cultural practitioners and producers – mainly from the West Midlands, which aims to promote dialogue and knowledge exchange, and to encourage and develop interdisciplinary research collaborations on a range of cultural issues and themes. WCE was established in 2011. It is heavily involved in dialogue and events surrounding the contribution and value of cultural activity in the City, primarily through the development of a ten-year cultural strategy for the city of Coventry and by supporting Coventry’s bid to become the next UK City of Culture.

Produced Materials

Chandler, D and Coaffee, J (Editors) (2017) The Routledge Handbook of International Resilience, London, Routledge https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-International-Resilience/Chandler-Coaffee/p/book/9781138784321

Coaffee, J and Lee, P (2016) Urban Resilience, London, Palgrave https://he.palgrave.com/page/detail/Urban-Resilience/?K=9781137288820

Whybrow, N (2014) Performing Cities, Palgrave Macmillan http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137032522

Kuzemko, C, Goldthau, A, Keating, M (2015) The Global Energy Challenge: Environment, Development and Security, Palgrave https://he.palgrave.com/page/detail/?sf1=barcode&st1=9781137410078


HARMONISE (A Holistic Approach to Resilience and Systematic Actions to Make Large Scale Urban Built Infrastructure Secure) (2013 and 2016) Researchers: Jon Coaffee, Jonathan Clarke and Rob Rowlands
This project is funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of Research (FP7) the EU. The central aim of HARMONISE is to develop a comprehensive, multi‐faceted, yet mutually‐reinforcing concept for the enhanced security, resilience and sustainability of large scale urban built infrastructure and development. www.harmonise.eu

RESILENS (Realising European ReSiliencE for CritIcaL INfraStructure) (2015 – 2018) Researchers: Jon Coaffee, Jonathan Clarke, George Christou and Rob Rowlands
This project is funded by the Horizon 2020 Programme of Research of the EU. Moving resilience from a conceptual understanding to applied, operational measures for critical infrastructure so that it is capable of withstanding, adapting and recovering from adverse events, that integrate best practice from the related realm of risk management is the focus of the RESILENS project.

Sensing the City: an Embodied Documentation and Mapping of the Changing Uses and Tempers of Urban Place (a practice-based case-study of Coventry) (2017 – 2020) PI Dr Nicolas Whybrow (Theatre and Performance Studies, Warwick)
Scheduled to take place over a period of three years this practice-based research project, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to the tune of £265,000 (full cost: £330,500), will undertake a series of site-specific studies of urban rhythms, atmospheres, textures, practices and patterns of behaviour in the West Midlands city of Coventry (UK). It will make use of the sensate, performing human body as a data-gathering sensor in the first instance, applying techniques of writing or notation and technologies of sound/oral recording, photography, performance and film in the second instance to respond to, document and process such fieldwork activity. The third and final phase of the research programme will be to visualise and present documented text, sound and image material both as an online, interactive mapping of the urban sites in question (presented as a prototypical mixed media website) and via a ‘smart’ device. The project will also culminate in an exhibition, incorporating a one-day symposium, and a co-curated publication. Together these outputs will present the findings of the project in a form that is accessible to a broader public as well as to professional specialists in fields related to the design and planning of urban futures.

Modelling Mixing Mechanisms in 1D Water Network Models (2017 – 2023) EPSRC PI Professor Ian Guymer
The management of water quality in rivers, urban drainage and water supply networks is essential for ecological and human well-being. Predicting the effects of management strategies requires knowledge of the hydrodynamic processes covering spatial scales of a few millimetres (turbulence) to several hundred kilometres (catchments), with a similarly large range of timescales from milliseconds to weeks. Predicting underlying water quality processes and their human and ecological impact is complicated as they are dependent on contaminant concentration. Current water quality modelling methods range from complex three dimensional computational fluid dynamics (3D CFD) models, for short time and small spatial scales, to one-dimensional (1D) time dependent models, critical for economic, fast, easy-to-use applications within highly complex situations in river catchments, water supply and urban drainage systems. Mixing effects in channels and pipes of uniform geometry can be represented with some confidence in highly turbulent, steady flows. However, in the majority of water networks, the standard 1D model predictions fall short because of knowledge gaps due to low turbulence, 3D shapes and unsteady flows. This Fellowship will work to address the knowledge gaps, delivering a step change in the predictive capability of 1D water quality network models. It will achieve this via the strategic leadership of a programme of laboratory and full-scale field measurements, the implementation of system identification techniques and active engagement with primary users. The proposal covers aspects from fundamental research, through applications, to end-user delivery, by providing a new modelling methodology to inform design, appraisal and management decisions made by environmental regulators, engineering consultants and water utilities.

MEDIA4SEC – The emerging role of new social media in enhancing public security
European Commission (2016 – 2018) PI Professor Jon Coaffee
MEDI@4SEC is a co-ordination and support action supported under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research Framework. It began on 1st July 2016 and will run for 30 months. It focuses upon enhancing our understanding of the opportunities, challenges and ethical consideration of social media use for public security. MEDI@4SEC is informed by research but grounded in the experiences of real life practitioners. Over the course of its activities, MEDI@4SEC aims to build a community of stakeholders engaged in using social media for public security who can exchange experience, information and ideas to enhance the use of this tool in a very dynamic environment.

Additional Comments
We have where possible tried to list current projects that potential partners might engage with.