Research objectives

Purpose

The SECURE project (February 2011 to January 2015) addresses the grand challenge of integrating greater conservation and more efficient resource utilisation across scales to meet future urban demands. It is developing a Regional Urbanisation Model that synthesises resource-supply-demand-waste systems from city and local authorities to regional scales via the integration of three themes – Urbanisation (land use and transport), Building and Energy (supply and demand) and Ecosystem Services (the benefits humans receive from ecosystems). The model is being developed and used in consultation with stakeholders to develop SElf Conserving URban Environments (SECURE) that will radically cut greenhouse gas emissions, optimise efficiency gains and explore the consequences of key resource demands across regions to guide behavioural change needed to meet UK National targets through transitions 2016, 2030 to 2050.

Conceptual diagram of integrated efficient urbanisation     

Vision

The vision of the SECURE project is to deliver a step change in thinking by enabling integration of resource-supply-demand-waste systems across city-to-regional scales to create scientifically informed, strategic, integrated policies and planning driven by efficient transport; use of land as a resource; using waste as an asset; microgeneration of energy and upscaling Systems management from a local/city to regional level. This will allow the inherent inefficiencies in current disaggregated urban management systems to be minimised, sporadic and undervalued ecosystem services to be optimised for maximum benefit and a shift from carbon intensive energy generation to more efficient means by 2050. SECURE will foster a region where its people gain optimal benefits from their natural environments, reduce their demands and unsustainable consumption patterns and thus move to a low carbon high efficiency economy.