Centre for Sustainable Communities

Research theme/s:

The Centre for Sustainable Communities (CSC) has achieved substantial progress in recent times in advancing its current four-year strategy, in particular in pursuing its specified aim to establish a Research Centre in Sustainable Communities.

This year has witnessed completion of the programme of research on sustainable urban planning funded by a substantial grant received from Tarmac. In a follow on initiative, co-directed by CSC again in conjunction with Tarmac, the Centre has been coordinating launch of a new research programme to be funded by Tarmac.

This year will see the completion of the competitively secured research on sustainable transport and economic growth supported by funding won from the UK Government’s Department for Transport (DfT). In advancing its wider mission CSC is yielding benefits across the university, whether in support for teaching and learning, research and consultancy and in supporting a wide range of other SBU’s in delivering their own areas of responsibility.

In addition, CSC is spearheading and co-financing with support from the OVC the new partnership with Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation in its attempts to establish the International Garden Cities Institute with support from the University’s Chancellor.

About the Centre

The Centre for Sustainable Communities (CSC) is part of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. Bringing together key elements needed to form and support sustainable communities into the future; Planning & Urbanism, Sustainable Transport and the Environment - the CSC works in collaboration with both internal and external partners to deliver funded projects, academic and professional development programmes, as well as undertake research.

Our achievements

We have undertaken a wide range of research, applied projects and consultancy across our various thematic areas and have:

  • Reached the reporting phase of a major research project within our research partnership with Lafarge Tarmac exploring aspects of 'sustainable living'
  • Launched the Herts Guide to Growth - Five Years On research report
  • Received a special mention for our Wolfson Economics Prize entry on making a new Garden City
  • Spoken at a number of conferences and symposia on aspects of urbanism and transport
  • Worked on monitoring and benchmarking projects related to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund work for which we previously achieved significant funding with our partners Hertfordshire County Council
  • Improved local transport provision through partnership working with the 'Quality Network Partnership which we helped establish with local authorities and public transport providers
  • Developed a Smart Ticketing downloadable bus ticket that can be purchased on mobile phones via an app
  • Secured ECO-Campus 'Platinum' status and ISO 14001
  • Relaunched the UH wide Green Impact process for the 4th year in succession
  • Led the Power Down campaign to help minimise unnecessary energy use
  • Facilitated UH to become a student-led 'Slow Food' university
  • Undertaken another full programme of seminars, short courses and masters' programme module teaching in Sustainable Planning, Transport and Environmental Management

Our partners

The Centre has a large number of associates with a wide range of expertise who support the work of its core staff.

Our research

Our research revolves around 2 key themes – Urbanism and planning, and Transport.

Combined with the University’s Environment and Sustainability Policy, this research agenda demonstrates our commitment to making the County of Hertfordshire a sustainable place in which to live and work.

Our consultancy

The Centre undertakes a range of consultancy services in urbanism and planning and is keen to offer its expertise to clients in the private, public and third sectors.