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PERN Bulletin 7/2012

Network news

World population day – planning and population resources

To celebrate World Population Day (11 July 2012), Routledge has put together a collection of selected articles on planning and population which focus on issues including migration, health, ageing and the environment. The planning and population article collection includes titles fromPlanning Theory and Practice,International Planning Studies,Population Studies and theJournal of the American Planning Association, and all articles featured are available free until 31 August 2012.

Planet RE:think

A documentary produced by the European Environment Agency highlights the global nature of unsustainable resource use with examples of mining in Canada and recycling of electronic waste in India. Planet RE:think (scroll down to watch the film) includes positive examples of green economy policies in places such as Ecuador and South Africa.

New article from Planning Theory and Practice

A new article has been published online from the next issue of Planning Theory and Practice. 'The organised encroachment of the powerful' investigates everyday struggles in claiming access to public space and water supply in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The article argues that understanding of context-specific power structures is needed to promote a more inclusive and just approach to urban planning.

RIBA announces President's Awards for Research shortlists

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist for the four categories of its President's Awards for Research. The awards scheme was established to reward and encourage outstanding research in architecture carried out by students, academics and practitioners. The four categories are for outstanding research in a Master's degree thesis, PhD thesis, university-located research, and practice-located research. RIBA President, Angela Brady said "Our President's Research Awards group has shortlisted 16 very promising pieces of research across a range of categories from an exceptional number of applications. This is always a challenging but enjoyable process and I know the panel are looking forward to reading the research work over the coming months."

Green streets, walls and billboards

Researchers at the Universities of Birmingham and Lancaster have found that 'greening' the UK's streets could cut pollution by 30% and deliver cleaner air in the cities where pollution levels are at their highest. The study showed that green walls of grass, climbing ivy and other plants are far more effective at filtering out pollutants than previously believed, and offer the best solution in terms of pollutant removal. Plant-covered billboards could also help to increase the amount of foliage in an area and reduce pollution. Read the full article (log-in required) or read the BBC's news item on the findings.

Calls for papers

Mediterranean wildfires – responses to environmental disasters

The Journal of Mediterranean Geography, Méditerranée, is putting together a special issue on wildfire disasters which have left their mark on the Mediterranean over the last decade. The focus is particularly on the forest-city interface. The journal welcomes proposals from various backgrounds including geography, political science, urban and rural planning and economics. The deadline for submissions is June 2013, and further details are available on the journal website.

Other publications

Atlas of urban expansion

A new book on urban expansion aims to increase understanding and help residents, policy makers and researchers deal with the issue in the coming decades. The 'Atlas of Urban Expansion' by Shlomo Angel (Lincoln Institute Visiting Fellow) shows the historical expansion of thirty global cities from 1800 to 2000 and pairs this with numerical and graphical data allowing the comparison of cities in terms of their metric values on key attributes of urban expansion. The companion text 'Planet of Cities' will be published in August 2012, and give recommendations for accommodating the growing urban population.

Urban air quality

The Woodland Trust has published a report on UK air quality which argues that, although air quality has improved in recent years, concentrations of some pollutants are levelling off, and there are still serious health issues in towns and cities as a result of poor air quality. The report recommends that careful planning of green infrastructure can ensure that trees and other vegetation provide the maximum opportunity for improving air quality.

Measurement for management – global cities in 2012

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has published a report which presents findings on climate change from 73 global cities and local governments. 'Measurement for Management: CDP Cities 2012' includes a special report on the cities of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and highlights Manchester in a section on city innovations in 2012.

Sustainability assessment – pluralism, practice and progress

A recent title in Routledge's Natural and Built Environment series sets out the context for sustainability assessment and outlines some contested issues which can affect interpretations of whether the tool has been effective. 'Sustainability Assessment - Pluralism, Practice and Progress', edited by Alan Bond, Angus Morrison-Saunders and Richard Howitt, is unique in setting out current practice on sustainability assessment by focusing on countries with developing experience.

Socially just adaptation to climate change

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has produced a report on the extent to which social justice is considered in local adaptations to climate change. 'Socially just adaptation to climate change' provides insights into how social justice can be incorporated into adaptation planning and includes three case studies of the Scottish Highlands, London Borough of Islington and York to further investigate the issue.

Honor Chapman report

In 1991, the London Planning Advisory Committee published the ground-breaking report 'London: World City' which recognised London's evolving role as a world city. To mark the contribution that Honor Chapman made to the field, the Honor Chapman Report has been published which reviews twenty years of London's competitiveness to identify what has worked and been most important in the period since the 'London: World City' report, and to look forward to what London needs to do in the next decade.

Other events

Planning Summer School

This year's Planning Summer School is being held at Liverpool Hope University from 14-17 September 2012, and will focus on the topic of 'planning for legacy'. Sessions include a debate on reconstructing England and a discussion on strategic planning in the UK, with speakers from the Welsh Assembly Government, Scottish Government and DCLG.

Living with our buildings and infrastructure

An Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate Coordination Network (ARCC CN) conference is being held in Birmingham from 18-19 September 2012. The event will present outputs and key messages from a range of ARCC-CN projects focusing on adaptation and resilience to climate change in the built environment and infrastructure sectors. Take a look at the agenda for more details. The conference is free to attend, but places must be booked online.

Access to research

A Westminster Policy and Practice Briefing will consider the Finch Group's proposals for reforming access to research. The event will allow delegates to examine the implications of the Finch Group's report and the responses of the UK Government, and learn from organisations that are successfully putting policy into practice. The briefing takes place in London on 27 September 2012. Book a place.

Sustainable innovation 2012

Sustainable Innovation 2012 will provide a platform to discuss opportunities and challenges related to resource productivity, innovation and lifestyles. The conference is being held in Bonn, Germany, from 29-30 October 2012 and will focus on topics such as technological innovation and resource efficiency.