Introducing a new a new type of article aimed at practitioners
Welcome to Briefing Notes - a new type of article. Consistent with Buildings & Cities' objectives, Briefing Notes aim to make research topics more accessible and relevant to the end users of research: practitioners, clients, occupants and policymakers. Briefing Notes will provide readers with a concise summary, in plain English, of a what is known in a particular research field or topic and how to act on the results available.
Briefing notes will contain collated, research-based information about the built environment intended to support complex decisions made by the wide range of actors involved in its regulation, design, construction, operation, management, renewal and redevelopment. The scope of the notes will be multi-scale, multi-domain and life cycle oriented.
An international Practitioner Panel will advise on strategic issues and the content of Briefing Notes:
To ensure their robustness and value, Briefing Notes will be peer-reviewed just like other papers B&C publishes. However, due to their important role in knowledge transfer/exchange, Briefing Notes will have two broad types of reviewers:
A summary is presented of current knowledge and key considerations in urban climate mitigation that have a bearing on planning practice in temperate climates. Urban climate is the intended or unintended local climate consequence of planning decisions at the street, neighbourhood and even city scales. Such local climate change adds to the changing global climate, where it both interacts with as well as exacerbates the human, energy, built environment and urban consequences of climate change. Although a relatively new field of study, knowledge about urban climate has sufficiently grown in recent decades to be of practical value to decision-making in the design and planning arenas. The climatic, wellbeing and carbon impacts of urban climate change are summarised along with best practices in mitigation and their relative merits. Key action points involve mapping heat vulnerability as well as enhancing heat resilience. It is hoped this briefing note will raise awareness of the wide range of issues involved in responding to the urban climate anomaly, whether in planning new districts or infilling existing ones.
KEYWORDS: cities, climate change, climate-sensitive design, heat stress, microclimate, thermal comfort, urban climate, urban form, urban heat island, urban planning
Kevin J. Lomas
Summertime overheating in both new and existing dwellings is widespread and increasing, even in temperate climates. There is an urgent need to solve the problem. Flats (apartments) and small dwellings, especially those in cities, are particularly at risk. Elderly and vulnerable people are particularly affected. This briefing note presents current knowledge about this problem and what might be done about it. It is directed at planners, designers, policymakers as well as local authorities, housing associations and other organisations that manage stocks of dwellings.
KEYWORDS: apartments; design; dwellings; flats; housing; inhabitants; overheating; refurbishment; thermal comfort; vulnerability
Common sources of occupant dissatisfaction with workspace environments in 600 office buildings
T Parkinson, S Schiavon, J Kim & G Betti
Urban growth in peri- urban, rural and urban areas: Mexico City
G M Cruz-Bello, J M Galeana-Pizaña & S González-Arellano
Overcoming the incumbency and barriers to sustainable cooling
J Lizana, N D Miranda, L Gross, A Mazzone, F Cohen, G Palafox-Alcantar, P Fahr, A Jani, R Renaldi, M Mcculloch & R Khosla
Assessing climate action progress of the City of Toronto
K R Slater, J Ventura, J B Robinson, C Fernandez, S Dutfield & L King
Meeting urban GHG reduction goals with waste diversion: multi-residential buildings
V MacLaren, E Ikiz & E Alfred
Climate action in urban mobility: personal and political transformations
G Hochachka, K G Logan, J Raymond & W Mérida
Transformational climate action at the city scale: comparative South–North perspectives
D Simon, R Bellinson & W Smit
Stretching or conforming? Financing urban climate change adaptation in Copenhagen
S Whittaker & K Jespersen
Embodied carbon emissions in buildings: explanations, interpretations, recommendations
T Lützkendorf & M Balouktsi
Pathways to improving the school stock of England towards net zero
D Godoy-Shimizu, S M Hong, I Korolija, Y Schwartz, A Mavrogianni & D Mumovic
Urban encroachment in ecologically sensitive areas: drivers, impediments and consequences
M H Andreasen, J Agergaard, R Y Kofie, L Møller-Jensen & M Oteng-Ababio
Local decarbonisation opportunities and barriers: UK public procurement legislation
K Sugar, T M Mose, C Nolden, M Davis, N Eyre, A Sanchez-Graells & D Van Der Horst
Canadian cities: climate change action and plans
Y Herbert, A Dale & C Stashok
Energy, emerging technologies and gender in homes [editorial]
Y Strengers, K Gram-Hanssen, K Dahlgren & L Aagaard
Can renewable and smart energy technologies in the home avoid negative consequences for gender, power, and nature-society relations within the domestic sphere? Olufolahan Osunmuyiwa, Helene Ahlborg, Martin Hultman, Kavya Michael and Anna Åberg comment on ‘Masculine roles and practices in homes with photovoltaic systems’ (Mechlenborg & Gram-Hanssen, 2022) – published in a recent Buildings & Cities special issue ‘Energy, Emerging Tech and Gender in Homes’.
The overall outcomes of COP27 (held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt) have been reported by some as disappointing. However, leading city networks such as C40 and ICLEI claim that subnational governments and cities have made a significant breakthrough with the launch of the Sustainable Urban Resilience for the Next Generation initiative (SURGe). This commentary explores how much of a breakthrough this really is.