Grant awarded for research into emissions issues

1 December 2021

A substantial grant has been obtained to conduct research into how people can be better informed about efforts to reduce carbon emissions in St Albans District.

The funding has been awarded to a project that is being run jointly by the University of Hertfordshire and St Albans City and District Council. It will finance a research associate to work on the Council’s decarbonisation programme over the next eight months.

The researcher will create and deliver a project to better communicate environmental data in visual forms such as through graphs, charts and videos. It is intended that such techniques will result in communications that will be much better understood than raw data and have greater impact.

The grant has been provided from a successful application to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and is one of 15 funded Design Exchange Partnerships across the UK. These Design Exchange Partnerships pair academic researchers with non-academic design partners to address challenges including decarbonisation, waste reduction and circular economies.

The research from these partnerships will be showcased as part of Future Observatory, a new national programme of research, debate and training that will show how design can drive Britain's future prosperity. Future Observatory is coordinated by the Design Museum in partnership with the AHRC, which is part of UK Research and Innovation.

Councillor Chris White, the Council’s Leader and Policy Committee Chair, said: “Our priority as a Council is to tackle the climate emergency and reduce carbon emissions across the District to net zero. We are committed to more than 100 actions to put us on the road to achieving that goal and this research project has the potential to be of great importance. It will provide us with the tools to better inform the public about the challenges we are faced with and the progress we are making. We will be working closely with the University of Hertfordshire, using their expertise and support to help improve communications about climate change.”

Dr Silvio Carta, Head of Design at the University of Hertfordshire said: “We are extremely happy to join forces with St Albans District Council to help residents to visualise and understand the impact of sustainable and net-zero policies at the District level.

“We strongly believe in the importance of implementing sustainability targets where a complex set of actions needs to successfully interface with the diverse requirements of Council departments, local businesses, and residents. This collaboration strongly aligns with our own targets of reducing carbon footprint and actively support the pledge to Race to Zero."


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