ARCC Assembly, 10th-11th June 2014, Austin Court, Birmingham

The 2014 Adaptation and Resilience in the Context of Change Network (ARCC Network) Assembly was held at Austin Court, Birmingham over June 10th and 11th. The events theme this year was “Urban areas as systems: adapting for the future”, and had excellent representation from the academic research community, policy-makers, and practitioners involved in the delivery, maintenance and management of services and assets related to the build environment. Some of the keynote addresses were delivered by Atti Emecz and Chris White from EPSRC, outlining the current EPSRC portfolio of built environment-related projects, and the current and future funding landscape. In particular, the alternative mechanisms for trying to maximise research impact, such as secondments, or impact accelerator accounts were highlighted as being potentially useful for engaging with those outside the academic community. David Penhallurick of Infrastructure UK (HM Treasury) gave two presentations on his attempts to break down the silo approach to infrastructure service delivery in the UK, and begin to encourage more collective and collaborative thinking in infrastructure service and project delivery. Good luck with that one David! Interestingly, one area that repeatedly arose from the two-day event was the need to study and grapple with the potential impacts of the built environment on the health and well-being of people who use it and interact with it. Nick Grayson, of Birmingham City Council raised the point that in the future many health-related issues will not be from communicable diseases, but by those potentially related to stress and lack of physical activity. The study of health-related impacts of the built-environment is a potentially interesting future area or theme for EPSRC and ARCC to pursue.
The event itself is was a great success and a great opportunity to network and discuss current and future research areas with policy makers and practitioners. The links to the slide packs generated from the event should be available on the ARCC website in the near future.

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