My research project
Environmentally sustainable urban developments
Urban development is one of the main causes of habitat and biodiversity loss in the UK. Until now, planning policy has focused on maintaining biodiversity levels stable over time (No-Net-Loss policies) but the trend of biodiversity loss remains unchanged and legally compliant developments still result in net biodiversity loss. We are now observing movement towards Net-Gain policies; this is, policies that aim to not only preserving but increasing, biodiversity and other natural capital values.
With this research I aim to, first, explore the transition towards environmental net-gain policies. For this, I will interview environmental practitioners to learn how they envision the opportunities and the challenges of net-gain policies, and how this varies across different sectors involved in urban planning. I will also collect information about practical implementations of net gain approaches, with the purpose of investigating creative ways of working for collective gains.
Second, I aim to propose a standardised method for measuring environmental net gain, which is ecologically grounded and socially inclusive. This method will be trialled out in a local development, in order to test its feasibility of being implemented in the wider construction industry.
Business, industry and community links
Natural Capital Assessment protocols
Sustainable urban development
Nature conservation and biodiversity