The Research Institute’s vision is to provide a new basis for sustainability science. It will push the boundaries of traditional sustainability research and find solutions to the challenges of diminishing resources and climate change.
The Research Institute's mission is to reinforce Cardiff’s reputation as a unique international leader in the emerging field of sustainability science, by bringing together leading scholars and research clusters across a wide-range of academic disciplines. Through making these new connections, the Institute will tackle the vital issue of sustainability and sustainable places in a fundamentally new way, seeking solutions to the enormous environmental and social challenges facing humanity.
Through new scientific approaches it will place stronger emphasis on sustainable living in sustainable places by studying the complex and dynamic interrelations between ecology, society and economy. By studying these interactions at local, national and international levels, the Institute will place itself at the centre of global debates, drawing on existing expertise in the scientific fields of planning and applied social and psychological sciences, business and law, biological and earth sciences, engineering, architecture and health.
The Research Institute will explicitly address the question of how cities and their regions - which are all developing under different combinations of market and governance arrangements - can adapt and be guided towards more sustainable spatial strategies. As a new scientific 'meeting place', it will provide an improved understanding of the complexity, transitions, adaptations and resiliencies required in the design, re-design and planning of places.
Led by the Institute Director, Sustainable Places will develop under the management of a team of ten leading academics from the Schools of Social Sciences, Planning and Geography, Medicine, Earth Sciences, Architecture, Psychology, Engineering, and the ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society.
The Institute will be based on five key areas of activity:
- The development of a comparative city-region research hub bringing together theory, empirical research and policy adaptations amongst a series of selected city regions.
- In partnership with international and national stakeholders and core researchers, create new comparative models of spatial strategies which incorporate ecological, built environment, socio-economic and governance frameworks and processes.
- Progress six interdisciplinary themed research programmes.
- Further develop a unique cadre of doctoral researchers in the emerging field of sustainability science.
- Developing collaborations and partnerships at local, national and global levels to encourage knowledge transfer across public, private and community sectors, engaging sectors from the outset.
The Institute’s activities will be achieved through six interlinked research programmes:
- Transitions and adaptations in selected city-regions
- Security, risk and resilient places
- Resilience and adaptation in coupled physical, ecological and social systems
- Health and connected communities
- Adaptive governance for social and ecological transitions
- Adaptations around mobilities, flows and migrations