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Went live onTitleReference
14 Jun 2010Modelling the impact of climate change on LondonSID0271
Synopsis
A Tyndall Centre researcher on a NERC policy placement with the GLA has explored the climate impacts and energy implications of the London Plan. If the plan is fully implemented, greenhouse gas emissions and the risks to people will be reduced.
Description
A Tyndall Centre researcher on a NERC policy placement with the Greater London Authority (GLA) has applied the Tyndall Centre's Urban Integrated Assessment Facility to explore the climate impacts and energy implications of the London Spatial Development Plan.

Dr. Richard Dawson from Newcastle University was funded by NERC for four weeks to work with the GLA on adapting the Tyndall Cities assessment model to test the scenarios and policy implications of the London Plan. This included exploring the proposed spatial development strategy, as well as testing the adaptation and mitigation options identified in the plan.

The model shows that if the London Plan were to be fully implemented, greenhouse gas emissions and the risks to people would be reduced. The Plan is currently waiting to be adopted, pending public examination.

The London Plan provides a framework for planning and development in London, which addresses the challenges the city is likely to face in future. It incorporates economic, social and environmental factors and is used by all of the London borough councils when they are writing their own development plans.

According to Alex Nickson, strategy manager for climate change and water at the Greater London Authority, 'We have been pleased that, thanks to NERC support from the policy placement scheme, Dr. Richard Dawson has been able to work with us using the UIAF to analyse some of the futures under consideration in the London Plan.'

Nickson added, 'We have come to recognise how integrated modelling of the type delivered by the Tyndall Centre Cities programme can help to bring different stakeholders together to develop common understanding of processes and consequences of long term change.'

'That collective understanding is essential if we are to manage change rather than become its victims.'

Dawson is a core researcher in the NERC/EPSRC/ESRC funded Tyndall Centre, working within the Cities theme. The Tyndall Centre Cities Programme has sought to develop an integrated assessment tool to address the fundamental issue of how cities can grow without increasing their greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

The tool quantifies both the impacts of climate change on cities (e.g. flood risk, water resources and heatwaves) and their emissions. Projections of socio-economic change are simulated in econometric models to estimate regional changes which drive spatially explicit coupled land use and climate impacts models to estimate the changes in vulnerability in cities. The land use change and regional econometrics projections respectively inform transport and energy emissions accounting tools.

The placement provided Dawson with an excellent opportunity to better understand the wider challenges facing policy makers and planners and the process of developing the London Plan. Dawson is continuing this work on sustainable planning in cities, with the GLA as stakeholder advisors, through an EPSRC-funded fellowship.
Impacts
Actual impactsPolicy
Impact evidencePolicy Placement at GLA ensured research was used to formulate policies in the London Plan
Key outputsPolicy change - Updated London Plan
Research and Collaborative Centres
CentreTyndall Centre
Classification
Science themesClimate system, Natural hazards, Environment, pollution and human health
Science areasAtmospheric
Policy areasClimate/environmental change and impacts, Planning