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Sustainable Cities and Communities

We recognise that our activities have an impact on the wider community and have a number of policies and activities in place to maximise our positive contribution. This is reflected in the Collaborative Newcastle Agreement which brings together Northumbria and Newcastle Universities, the local Council and the NHS to support people, planet and prosperity of our city and wider region.  In addition, we facilitate and promote sustainable travel, support Life on Land by enhancing green space within the urban environment, and support cultural heritage in collaboration with local partners.

In the Spotlight: The Value of Green Infrastructure in Urban Planning

The role of nature and the environment in future planning and housing developments can be underestimated; traditionally nature could be seen as an impediment to development. Prof. Alister Scott highlights the critical importance of green infrastructure in urban planning, and explores the numerous benefits nature brings to cities. He has been awarded a prestigious Knowledge Exchange Fellowship by the Natural Environment Research Council to undertake research to change the way that green infrastructure is viewed, valued, used and delivered in city planning. He was also interviewed as a part of the NHS Healthy New Towns project which seeks solutions to deliver healthy and affordable homes at scale whilst creating a sustainable community.

At a Glance: From Our Research to our Operations

  • Our Environmental Sustainability Policy considers the impact our activities have on the wider environment and aims to minimise negative impact through our ISO14001 certified Environmental Management System.
  • We produce a comprehensive Sustainable Travel Plan every two years as a part of our commitment to reducing emissions from business and commuter travel. We encourage sustainable travel choices among our staff and students, including corporate travel schemes, public transport options and electric vehicle charging.
  • Our Cycle 2 Campus scheme provides services to encourage cycling, including free Dr Bike sessions, guided rides and free security tagging. Over 800 bicycle parking spaces are available on campus.
  • We support cultural heritage through our own galleries as well as our partnerships with cultural and creative organisations including BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Great North Run Culture, Live Theatre, New Writing North, Tyneside Cinema, and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.
  • The Visualisation and Virtual Reality (V2) group at Northumbria is collaborating with national agencies, local authorities and industry to provide tailored, state-of-the-art solutions to urban and environmental problems.
  • Academics in our Geography and Environmental Studies department undertake research on communities and resilience. This covers communities, multiculturalism, community cohesion, identity and public engagement, as well as world systems analysis and cities research, channelled through the leading academic think-tank Globalisation and World Cites (GaWC).
  • Our researchers are exploring new ways in which electric vehicles can store renewable energy when not in use to dramatically reduce the carbon output of cities.
  • We are working with Newcastle University to jointly establish the world's first research Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE). This will bring together architects, engineers and bioscientists to revolutionise how buildings are designed and constructed through a new 'Living Buildings' concept.

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