Mapping ambient vulnerabilities: Air-energy-climate interrelations in the urban environment and implications for cross-sectoral governance.

Project Details


From its temperature and humidity, to its toxicty, our immediate ambient environment is essential to health, comfort, and wellbeing, determining the fulfilment of a person's most fundamental needs. The ambient environment is therefore also integral to several of the most pressing urban challenges and social justice questions facing cities globally, including poor air quality (both indoor and outdoor), energy poverty, and urban or climate-related heat, as reflected in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, whilst in the physical sciences sophisticated models are used to understand and predict the ambient environment for global systems (for example, the International Panel on Climate Change), there is no overarching framework which considers the differential implications for specific populations or places in cities. Instead complex and interconnected vulnerabilities are often dealt with in separate sectors and disciplines, limiting the ability of policymakers and practitioners to deal with the issues effectively.

In response, this fellowship develop the new concept of ambient vulnerabilities, to provide timely evidence of how air, climate and energy vulnerabilities accumulate in cities, and the uneven impact that this has on different people and places. Cutting-edge Geographic Data Science approaches, that bring geography into conversation with data science (and vice versa), will be underpinned by extensive stakeholder collaboration. Ambient vulnerabilities will be defined, analysed, and mapped for the first time - whether in the home, neighbourhood, or during a journey through the city. Innovatively, analysis will focus on two scales: (i) analyses comparing ambient vulnerability in neighbourhoods across cities in England and (ii) detailed analyses of the urban laboratory of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. In doing so, the fellowship will generate new understanding of poor-quality urban environments and what it means to live within them. It will bring together disparate fields to tackle pressing urban problems, helping to shape a cross-sectoral policy approach to tackling ambient urban challenges effectively. The fellowship's framing and findings are also highly applicable to other contexts experiencing similar global challenges.
Effective start/end date1/10/211/10/25


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  • Injustices at the air-energy nexus

    Bouzarovski, S. & Robinson, C., 13 Oct 2022, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Environment and Planning F. p. 1-19 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

    Open Access
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