press release
Published: 17 February 2023

Small towns contribute to tackling climate change through University of Surrey-led £400k funding pot

We shouldn’t forget our country's small towns and cities when devising plans to tackle the devastating impact of climate change, says the lead scientists of the RECLAIM Network Plus project.

RECLAIM Network Plus, which is led by the University of Surrey, has awarded £400,000 of funding to a number of small projects across the UK to help better understand how Green-Blue-Grey-Infrastructure (GBGI)** could help vulnerable communities become more resilient against natural disasters.

Professor Prashant Kumar, Principal Investigator of the RECLAIM Network Plus and Founding Director of the  Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey, said:

"We gave special consideration to projects that focused on smaller or deprived urban areas of the country – areas that are too often forgotten when discussing the effects of climate change. The projects we have funded today consider sustainable infrastructure in a holistic way that not only improves a community's resilience to climate change but also addresses societal challenges."

RECLAIM is a £1.2M UKRI-funded project which currently has over 400 members worldwide. It provides a one-stop-shop for towns and cities to find the information and support they need to implement GBGIs in local communities. It is led by the University of Surrey's GCARE in collaboration with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the Universities of Bath, Bangor and Warwick.

RECLAIM has awarded £40,000 each to projects from the following institutions:

  • Imperial College London
  • University of Bath
  • University of East London
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Surrey
  • University of West England
  • Bangor University
  • Leeds Beckett University.

Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti, Director of the Institute for Sustainability at the University of Surrey and Advisory Board member of the RECLAIM Network Plus commented on how the network is helping to support the sustainability agenda of the newly-founded Institute:

"The RECLAIM network does precisely what its name suggests: it helps communities reclaim their role in society through active support for civic participation in a variety of forms that build local environmental activism, technological transformation and a just transition to a more sustainable and desirable future."

Dr Ajinkya Rao, Portfolio Manager for the Engineering Theme at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said:

“RECLAIM network is playing a key role in bringing together experts from various sectors by funding projects, workshops and secondment opportunities that focus on addressing knowledge gaps and implementation challenges facing green blue-green infrastructure development, which in turn is helping in improving economic and social wellbeing, and creating more sustainable and resilient communities.”

 RECLAIM Network Plus is funded by the UKRI under Grant No. EP/W034034/1.


Notes to editors

  • Professor Prashant Kumar is available for interview
  • For more information please contact the University of Surrey’s press office via

*The full name of the RECLAIM project is ‘Reclaiming Forgotten Cities - Turning cities from vulnerable spaces to healthy places for people’.

** Example of Green, Blue and Grey Infrastructure include:


  • Urban parks
  • Green roofs
  • Rain gardens
  • Community gardens.


  • Reservoirs
  • Canals
  • Wetlands
  • Beaches.


  • Highways
  • Bridges
  • Buildings
  • Water treatment facilities.

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