October 2009 – First SNACC stakeholder and advisory board meeting
The first advisory board meeting drew together experts from a wide cross section of interest groups, including the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Constructing Excellence SW, Forum for the Future, the Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network, the Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government (IDeA), the Local Government Association ( LGA), the Environment Agency, and the West of England Partnership. During a presentation to the advisory board the SNACC team emphasised the need to understand how to proactively adapt suburban neighbourhoods in order to ensure their viability and quality in the face of emerging scenarios for climate change and the escalating costs of energy and transport: warning that failure to do so could have significant human, environmental and economic consequences (such as fatalities from heat stress, ill health from reduced air quality, reluctance to use local outdoor environments, damage to homes and gardens and adverse impacts on property markets).
The advisory board members informed the research team of other relevant work that is ongoing in the field and advised on routes for dissemination. Key messages from the advisory board were:
- The importance of drawing upon other related studies and existing datasets to inform the research project;
- The need to consider the relationship between adaptation and mitigation in defining the scope of the project;
- The need to develop precise definitions of the project’s scope, particularly in relation to the scale of neighbourhoods, the type of adaptations to be considered, and the measurement of adaptive capacity.
- The need to minimise the complexity of variables (i.e. for climate, for suburb types, and for adaptive capacity) for the case study selections; and
- The importance of investigating behaviour change and specifically what the factors are that make people react (and adapt) to climatic challenges.
The advisory board members will next be invited to the University in April to participate in a symposium, which will showcase outputs from the SNACC project and provide a platform for the project’s international partners to present findings from outside the UK.