Research on sustainable transport conducted by Hickman et al at UCL has
contributed significantly to a major shift in UK and international
transport policy during the last decade. Whereas such policy previously
included little, if any, consideration of climate change, the desire to
reduce transport CO2 emissions is now often its primary
objective. Findings from and methods developed through the research have
been used at city, regional, national and international to support and
implement revised strategies and investment programmes promoting
sustainable transport. As such, they contributed to increased use of
public transport, walking and cycling, and reduced dependence on car
usage. The methods have also been widely used by international
consultancies and other researchers.
Research on urban planning has influenced planning decisions and assisted
the Scottish Government and Local Authorities to maximise economic,
physical and social factors in city visioning, planning and design. The
private sector has received advisory and design training in
master-planning though advanced spatial modelling principles and user
engagement techniques; local authority planners have also been trained.
The research has contributed to a paradigm shift in city planning towards
place-making and community design, not just in Scotland but
internationally. This agenda is now established as mainstream in city
planning, and Scotland is regarded as a reference to best practice as
witnessed by the wide adoption of planning documents such as Designing
Places, Designing Streets, and in recent large scale developments such as
Tornagrain (around 4,000 new homes), Knockroon (around 750 new homes) and
Chapelton (around 8,000 new homes), which have used Strathclyde's
Peter Jones' research developed new principles for urban street planning
and design, which have been incorporated into Department for Transport
(DfT) and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) national
guidelines. The methodology has been used in the Mayor of London's Roads
Task Force report; Transport for London (TfL) now requires boroughs to use
the classification for all new submissions for funding for street schemes.
It underpins the specification of an £650m PFI highway maintenance
contract with LB Hounslow, and has been used by other UK local
authorities. Internationally, the approach has been applied in Australia
and included in draft regulations for urban planning in Beijing.
A new form of personal rapid transit has been developed from research
which began at the University of Bristol in 1995 and has since been
commercialised by a University spin-out company. The ULTra system is now
in operation at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 and constitutes a world first
for the UK. Since opening in 2011, passengers have benefited from a
personal, fast, reliable and low cost driverless transport system,
that has removed the queuing and inefficiencies associated with bus
transfers to the terminal. The Heathrow pods completed a million
miles of fully driverless operation within two years of the system opening
and have the highest satisfaction rating of any passenger service at
Terminal 5, which itself is rated as the best in the world. The success of
the system has led to a plan to extend it to Terminals 2 and 3.
Key insights from LSE Cities' interdisciplinary research on the `compact
and well-connected' city have been incorporated by central government in
national planning policy and by the Mayor of London in the London Plan.
This has led to urban land being developed more intensively, ensuring more
sustainable and efficient use of space in English towns and cities.
Research on green city policies has been adopted by the United Nations
Environment Programme (2011) and is determining policy formulation in
Stockholm, Copenhagen and Portland. Urban Age conferences and research
have created an international network of urban policy-makers and scholars,
and LSE Cities staff have had impact on the design of the Olympic Park in
London and development plans for cities outside the UK.
DPU's research by Davila, Allen et al into urban infrastructure has
generated analytical tools used by policy-makers, practitioners and aid
organisations to examine the distribution of and access to urban services.
It has supported the development of training curricula used altogether by
over 4,000 urban planners in cities of the Global South, and through
partners in The Netherlands, India and Colombia. At the policy level, the
research has informed local government actors in Colombia, and
international bodies (e.g. UN-Habitat and the International Resource
Panel) in planning, financing, monitoring and equitable delivery of
infrastructure services. At the NGO level, new analytical approaches have
been adopted by WaterAid in Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia, and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo as a result of DPU research.
The research into green freight transport and logistics has had several
key impacts. It facilitated freight transport becoming part of the London
Mayor's Transport Strategy (which aims to improve efficiency and reduce
negative impacts of freight) and that this strategy incorporated van-based
activities as well as heavier goods vehicles. It provided evidence for
policy makers and industry of the potential for modal shift to rail
freight and new methods of measuring rail freight activity to inform
decision making. The joint development of a technique for calculating fuel
consumption and carbon emissions of road goods vehicle activities was
adopted by the Department for Transport (DfT) and DEFRA in guidance to
industry about emissions reporting.
Since 2006 Professor Cooper has led interdisciplinary research to inform
the design of the urban environment, especially in relation to creating
sustainable places that support citizen wellbeing. Outcomes include a new
model of design decision-making, a toolkit for urban design decisions, and
collation of evidence on the impact of environment on mental health and
wellbeing. Her work has been supported by EPSRC, over ninety companies,
and six city councils. Impact has included tools to enable planners and
developers to address issues such as density and wellbeing; informing
government policy on mental health and the environment; raising the
profile of design-led approaches to complex policy problems.
A series of research projects, between 1994 and 2013, developed
innovative land use and transport models to provide an evidence base for
urban decision-making. They have impacted the planning of cities around
the world, in particular the industrial declining city of Bilbao, Spain,
now heralded as an exemplar of renewal; the planning of the developing
world city of Santiago, Chile, now an exemplar of modernity; and the
expansion of the knowledge-based city of Cambridge, UK, now an exemplar of
sustainability. This research continues to contribute to planning policies
around the world.
The research has led to participation in, and leadership of, high level
groups at both national and European levels, and has had an impact on
local engagement in planning and urban design, and led to support for
sustainable design principles.
The research has concentrated on the inclusion of wider
groups within urban and architectural design, and this has helped to
encourage engagement in the provision of greenspace and
sustainable urban transport. This is manifest through significant
sustainable projects, including hydrogen and electric vehicles, and
through engagement with the wider community, including children.