How can we green our cities to make them healthier and more sustainable places to live? A substantial grant awarded to a European collaboration, including researchers at the University of Bristol, will help to develop the best, most cost effective policies to get cities on the path to an environmentally friendly future.
Professor Clive Sabel of the University of Bristol’s School of Geographical Sciences and the Cabot Institute has received €430,000 from the EU’s Horizon 2020, ‘the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever’, as part of this €6.5 million consortium of 18 partners, which is led by the Environmental Engineering Lab of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
By evaluating existing policies to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution, the ICARUS (Integrating Climate Forcing and Air Pollution Reduction in Urban Systems) project will suggest a detailed plan of action for participating European cities up to 2030 and a vision of smart, green and healthy cities for 2050. It will be an interactive process, led by the needs of decision makers and stakeholders as well as the general public. Policies will be sustainable, specific to the needs of each city and will improve the health and wellbeing of citizens.
“ICARUS cements Bristol’s world leading expertise in smart cities, sensors, air pollution and health impacts” said Professor Sabel on the University of Bristol’s contribution to the project.
Thinking to the future, ICARUS will produce transition pathways to achieve a vision of carbon neutral, or even carbon negative, cities with cleaner air in the next 50 years.
Both technological and behavioural change solutions will be investigated. The project will engage with the public through an app that will explain the impact of the choices they make, and the collective choices of their community on the environment and their own quality of life.
The results of this project will aid decision makers in the participating cities and will act as guidance for other European cities while fostering technological and policy innovation and citizen science in Europe.