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    Archive for the 'Built Environment' Category

    Lunch Hour Lectures: The handmaiden’s emissions – international shipping in changing climates

    By Thomas Hughes, on 28 January 2016

    “This lecture on the handmaiden’s emissions is not actually about the flatulence of household servants,” Dr Tristan Smith (UCL Energy Institute) joked at the Lunch Hour Lecture on 26 January. The “handmaiden” is in fact the affectionate nickname used for the world’s shipping – so called because it is globalisation’s servant, without which we wouldn’t have the same food, commodities or fuel.

    Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, the first Triple-E, passing Port Said in the Suez Canal on its maiden voyage.

    Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, credit: Maersk Line.

    However, it has a huge environmental cost in CO2 emissions that has continued to grow as GDP and demand has risen. Dr Smith has been working with the team in the UCL Energy Institute to help find solutions to cut emissions, while keeping costs low.

    An average container ship has around 1,500 containers on it, with each container the size to be pulled by a single lorry. There are thousands of these ships, which in total account for about 2-3% of global emissions.


    Could this be the way to get your research into the public eye?

    By Guest Blogger, on 15 December 2015

    pencil-icon  Written by Olivia Stevenson & Greg Tinker with Michael Kenny, Catherine Miller & Graeme Reid

    Scientists and researchers from across academia are engaged in research that could make a difference to the world, but until you take it beyond the university doors its impact and reach will remain low.

    Select Committee noticeUCL and the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary, University of London, teamed up to host a public event with parliamentary insiders and evidence experts, exploring how academia could engage the world of government, particularly through select committees.

    The question on everyone’s mind was ‘can this type of academic-government engagement generate real world impacts?’ Here is what our speakers told us:


    DPU SummerLAB: Common Grounds, Mostar

    By Guest Blogger, on 29 September 2015

    pencil-icon Written by Hannah Sender, Projects and Communications Officer at UCL Institute for Global Prosperity

    The UCL Development Planning Unit’s SummerLAB aims to bring together a group of people from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to work on a single project over a week, confronting major challenges facing contemporary urban life in four different settings. This is no simple task. Having recently returned from the Mostar-based SummerLAB – Common Grounds – I can attest to the numerous struggles and successes of some 20 participants faced with the challenge of creating a common ground in the still divided city of Mostar.

    Although several of our group were former DPU students, the SummerLAB also had in its cohort a theatre producer, an established architect and a forestry student.

    Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (credit: Renata Summa)

    Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (credit: Renata Summa)


    Volunteering and networking at the i-Rec 2015 conference

    By Guest Blogger, on 22 July 2015

    pencil-iconWritten by Jacopo Spatafora, MSc student at the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

    i-Rec 2015 conference

    i-Rec 2015 conference
    (Image courtesy of Jacopo Spatafora)

    It’s the beginning of July. While writing my thesis, I receive a forwarded e-mail from my friend, Helen: “Might be of interest – i-Rec 2015, held at UCL from 6 to 8 July. Volunteers needed for organising event.”

    Wondering if sacrificing three valuable study days for an event was sensible or insane, I signed up…

    i-Rec is an international conference, taking place every two years since 2002. It is a meeting point for practitioners and academics specialising in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.

    A multifaceted event

    The UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit, with global expertise in disaster-related practices, joined i-Rec 2015 to help share its research, comparing ideas based on past findings and future trends.