London Infrastructure Summit #iBUILD @nclceser

Yesterday’s inaugural London Infrastructure Summit, hosted by London First, coincided with the launch of ‘Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London’ Progress Report. The programme included sessions on: the overall vision and plan for London; funding and financing; lessons learned from major projects like Crossrail and how Crossrail 2 may be realised; a debate on the appropriate airport solution for London; and how to build long-term consensus on future priorities for London. The event attracted over 300 delegates and an array of interesting speakers including: Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, GLA, Lord Andrew Adonis, Shadow Infrastructure Minister, Sir Adrian Montague, Chairman, 3i Group, Sir John Armitt, Chairman, Olympic Delivery Authority. Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, provided an enthusiastic, witty and somewhat interactive, keynote address: his has his sights set on delivering Crossrail 2 by 2029! Overall consensus from the day: infrastructure investment requires public and private sector collaboration, certainty/public trust in plans, leadership and a deadline for project delivery.

International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure

“Can we imagine resilient infrastructure systems that can meet the needs of twice today’s population with half today’s resources while providing better liveability for all?”

That is the grand challenge faced by the 2014 International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure (ISNGI) and is concerned with all types of infrastructure (such as transport, energy, water, waste, telecommunications, housing, social infrastructure, and green infrastructure) and the web of interdependencies and interconnections that collectively make up the physical, economic and social systems of cities and regions, and that in many ways dictate our lifestyles.

The call for papers is now open. We are specifically interested in receiving contributions from a genuine systems perspective that extends beyond the traditional disciplinary and sectoral perspectives in academic infrastructure research.

This year’s event will be held on 29 September and 1 October at Laxenburg Palace in Vienna, Austria.

More detail on the overarching themes of the symposia and how to submit your papers can be found at

#ibuild #vacancy Research Fellow Post at University of Birmingham

This role will have to work closely with colleagues based in Engineering and Physical Sciences and this post will also contribute to developing active research-led interactions between the Business School and EPS.

The successful candidate will require a degree in Business or related subject; a high level of analytical capability; be able to communicate complex information clearly; expertise in the area of business models and alternative business models; the ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively and be able to understand and contribute to management/administrative processes.

For further details please visit:

#ibuild Launch of the Book: Understanding Cities

Cities_SheffieldThe final report of the COST Action TU0902 was brought together in a book called: Understanding Cities- Advances in Integrated Assessment of Urban Sustainability. Richard Dawson et al edited the book which introduces key results from the European Science Foundation funded COST Action TU0902 network that brought together researchers and practitioners involved in urban integrated assessment. Using case studies, theoretical approaches and reporting experience from across Europe this book explores the challenges and opportunities of urban integrated assessment through four perspectives: Quantified integrated assessment modelling; (ii) Climate change adaptation and mitigation; (iii) Green and blue infrastructure; and, (iv) Urban policy and governance. The book closes by outlining priorities for future research and development and presents a generic framework for urban integrated assessment to analyse the potential benefits and trade-offs of sustainability policies and interventions.

For more information visit  or to get a hard copy of the book please email or



#ibuild Symposium on Urban Integration 2014 Sheffield

In early March Richard Dawson and Oliver Heidrich co-organised the Urban Integration Symposium at Sheffield. They presented the outcomes of the COST Action TU0902. Some 80 delegates took part in the symposium and 6 sessions were held covering for example: : decision making and governance; green Infrastructure, integrated assessment, climate change strategies in cities, urban transitions and smart cities. Keynotes on urban metabolism, architecture, IT and European Strategies were delivered by Christopher Kennedy from Toronto University (Canada), Christoph Reinhart from the MIT Sustainable Design Lab (USA), Reinhard König from ETH Zürich (Switzerland) and Wolfgang Streitenberger from Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (European Commission, Belgium).

For more information on the Symposium see or email or

#ibuild Stakeholder Day: 2 April, Newcastle upon Tyne

Our second stakeholder day is being held on Wednesday 2 April from 10am to 4.30pm at the Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne.


09.30  Registration and Coffee

10.00  iBUILD programme update

Richard Dawson (Newcastle University)

10.30  The Governance of Local Infrastructure Financing

Andy Pike and Peter O’Brien (Newcastle University)

11.00  Title TBC

Chris Murray (Director of the Core Cities Group)

11.30  Refreshments

11.50  Parallel Workshop Session 1

12.35  Lunch

13.15  Parallel Workshop Session 2

14.00  Investing in local energy: realising local value

Tim Foxon (University of Leeds)

14.30  Identifying ‘quick-wins’ in protecting critical infrastructure from floods

Chris Zevenbergen (UNESCO-IHE)

15.00  Refreshments

15.15  Parallel Workshop Session 3

16.00  Feedback from workshop sessions

16.15  Summary of the day

Richard Dawson (Newcastle University)

16.30   Close

If you would like to attend, please register at: .

This event is taking place at the Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne. The venue is a two minute walk from the railway station:

#ibuild Invest in railway lines like Dawlish before they wash away

DavidDawsonThis winter the news headlines have been overrun with stories of transport problems on the rail network due to coastal flooding and rising river levels, and this has prompted national debate over resilience of our infrastructure along with the response of local communities to the impacts of flooding. One of the headline stories has been the collapse of the London-Penzance railway line at Dawlish in Devon, leaving the region without a main railway connection to the rest of the UK. These storms have highlighted the urgent need for new business models.

iBUILD researcher David Dawson, from the University of Leeds, is an expert on this stretch of railway line which he has been studying since 2006 .  He was contacted by regional and national media on a number of occasions in reaction to the event of 5 February.  The following is adapted from an article he originally prepared for ‘The Conversation’

#ibuild Deputy Director Andy Pike gives oral evidence to @CommonsCLG Communities and Local Government Select Committee

select_committeeOn Monday 3 February 2014, Professor Andy Pike, Director of CURDS, gave oral evidence to the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry into Fiscal Devolution to Cities and City Regions. The second oral evidence session examined the process of devolving powers, governance, business rates and borrowing; equalisation and redistribution; and non property taxes.  CURDS submitted written evidence to the Select Committee Inquiry.

iBUILD director receives new #wearefairphone – a new business model for mobile phones?


I would not normally consider the arrival of a new phone to be newsworthy.  However, this one is different – the team behind it have developed a high-performance smartphone that has sought to place social and environmental values at its core without compromising on quality. Steps take include sourcing of minerals from conflict-free mines, a worker welfare fund, social assessment of factory procedures, reducing waste in the supply chain and investing profits into the establishment of recycling fund.  I was particularly impressed by the fairphone blog (yes much more active than this one for starters) that revealed in some detail the steps taken, their successes – but was also very honest about the barriers and limits.  This transparency provided a fascinating insight into the complexity of implementing social and environmental values into global supply chains, and its honesty is refreshing.

They have now sold and shipped their first 25,000 units – and I am a proud owner of a specially marked “First Edition” phone.  Aside from my natural passion for sustainable living, this initiative seemed particularly relevant to the iBUILD Infrastructure Business Models research programme that I lead.  A core goal of iBUILD is to try and harness the social and environmental value of infrastructure.  Parts of the iBUILD programme explicitly focus on issues around the infrastructure supply chain and the interdependencies between infrastructure and the economy – that provide challenges but also opportunities.  Although the gulf between mobile phones and infrastructure may seem large, I think there is much that we can learn from the fairphone journey!

Symposium on #urban #integration funded by @COSTOffice


CESER and the members of COST Action TU0902 (Integrated Assessment for Urban Sustainability) are delighted to announce a symposium on Urban Integration 2014, which will take place 6-7th March 2014 in Sheffield, UK.

This two day symposium will explore how state of the art approaches to integrated assessment are helping understand the complexity of urban areas and assist in the implementation of integrated strategies which typically seek to reconcile urban concerns such as energy, transportation demand, land‐use planning, construction of new civil infrastructure and governance.

Professor Richard Dawson (iBUILD director and COST Action Chair), Professor Annemie Wyckmans (NTNU, Norway) and Dr. Stephen Dobson (Sheffield Hallam University), Dr. Oliver Heidrich (Newcastle University) and Dr. Jonathan Koehler (Fraunhofer Institute) will present key results from the COST Action.

In addition to a number of other invited talks on the theme of urban integration, we are extremely privileged to be joined by three outstanding keynote speakers:

Professor Chris Kennedy   (University of Toronto) – Sustainable Infrastructure Group and a leading authority on urban metabolism

Professor Christoph Reinhart (MIT) – Works in the field of sustainable building design and environmental modeling and leads the MIT Sustainable Design Lab

Professor Gerhard Schmitt (ETH Zurich) – Leads the development of the Simulation Platform for the Future Cities Laboratory, and is a Founding Director of the Singapore-ETH Centre

Registration, and more information, on this exciting event is now open.

This symposium is organised by COST Action TU0902 which is funded via the European Science Foundation.  We look forward to seeing you in Sheffield.