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    ABSTRACT: In order to achieve outdoor thermal comfort it is necessary to understand the interactions between the prevailing climate, the urban form and roughness. The near surface boundary layer is directly influenced by local irradiative and convective exchange processes due to the presence of a variety of different surfaces, sheltering elements and obstacles to air flow leading to distinctive micro-scale climates. The paper presents a micro-scale numerical model for an outdoor urban form for a hot summer’s day in Al-Muizz street located at the Islamic quarter of Cairo, where a few studies have attempted to study these conditions in vernacular settings in hot arid areas where the continuously evolving urban patterns and shaded environments were perceived to produce more pedestrian friendly outdoor environments. In situ measurements are used to validate the ENVI-met results which showed an overall agreement with the observed ones, representing adequate mean radiant temperature (Tmrt) which is one of the most important meteorological parameters governing human energy balance and has therefore a strong influence on thermal sensation of the pedestrians using the open public spaces and generating a micro-climatic map as an initial step in addressing the urgent need for a modelling platform accessible to urban designers, architects, and decision makers towards sustainable urban forms.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines how complex transport projects are reported in the media using the Transport Innovation Fund bid for Greater Manchester as a case study. It demonstrates how projects are simplified and distorted in the media in a systematic way. Such distortion is explained by a scheme's perceived newsworthiness, its complexity and the contemporary nature of news media production. The paper has implications for future research in this area and the implementation of sustainable transport policy. It urges transport professionals to both better understand, and engage directly with, the media if they are to maximise the benefits of efforts to shape travel behaviour.
    Transport Policy 03/2011; 18(2):468-479. DOI:10.1016/j.tranpol.2010.09.005
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    ABSTRACT: With a focus on the residential sector, this paper explores the likelihood of the UK government meeting its energy targets. The paper contends that energy policy needs to take into account the interplay of four major factors: an ageing population of increasing diversity; a cultural inclination for older housing much of which is thermally inefficient; levels of fuel poverty; and the inexorable rise of consumer spending on leisure related services and goods. Decisions made by older households (both the poorer and the better off) may be critical to the success of energy policy. Among the better off the changing expectations of the baby boomers, with their predilection for consumption and travel, may have particular impact. The paper concludes that much of the reduction in carbon footprint made by older people's choices in heating and insulation may be offset, not only by increasing domestic thermal comfort, but also potentially by increasing consumables in the home and other consumer lifestyle choices. What could be achieved at best, may be a shift in energy mix.
    Energy Policy 02/2011; 39(2-2):782-789. DOI:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.10.052
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    ABSTRACT: Tehran after the Second World War experienced a modernization drive and rapid population growth. In 1972, the Greek planner, Constantinos Doxiadis, who had already undertaken major housing and planning projects in Iran, was invited to prepare an action plan for the city, to guide the future investment for easing the city's problems. Doxiadis saw cities as nightmares, but advocated that a holistic scientific analysis and a naturalist approach to urban growth management could address their problems. In applying his ideas to Tehran, however, the limits of his ideas of scientific planning became evident, not only through contextual pressures, such as lack of time and data, but also through the planning consultant's approach, in which commercial considerations and the application of readymade solutions could shape the outcome. Rather than working with the context, Doxiadis followed the modernist tenet of breaking with the past, proposing the creation of West Tehran, an alternative to the city where all future growth should take place on a utopian basis. The radical nature of his proposals, his death, and a turbulent revolution aborted the impact of his action plan on Tehran, while faith in modernist scientific planning was widely being abandoned.
    Planning Perspectives 10/2010; 25(4):485-504. DOI:10.1080/02665433.2010.505066
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    ABSTRACT: This paper is about the curious phenomenon whereby GDR-era modernist buildings in Germany are being demolished and substituted with new buildings which appear older than those they replace. The most famous example is the ‘reconstruction’ of Berlin's Stadtschloss on the site of the GDR's Palast der Republik. This discussion concerns a lesser-known project: the ‘reconstruction’ of Potsdam's Stadtschloss. The project involves re-housing the Brandenburg ‘Landtag’ in a new structure with classical façades which replicate the Prussian palace that formerly stood on the site, and densifying the surrounding district in order to return it to an approximation of the pre-war layout. The Stadtschloss building will be a concrete-framed structure – like the modernist buildings to be demolished – but this time faced with classical decoration in brick and stone. The paper argues that this project displays a strange insecurity about the present and a desire to return to some nostalgic image of the ‘olden days’, replacing the recent past with a looser image of an older past. It concludes by discussing a polemical counter-proposal which seeks to make current values apparent architecturally as another historical layer in the city fabric. It argues against the selective removal of previous architecture, recommending instead that multiple interpretations and the images of multiple pasts might co-exist simultaneously.Dieser Artikel beschäftigt sich mit einem interessanten Phänomen in Deutschland, nämlich mit dem Abriss moderner Bauten aus DDR-Zeiten und ihrer Ersetzung durch neue Gebäude, die allerdings älter aussehen als die, die sie ersetzen. Das berühmteste Beispiel dafür ist die ‘Rekonstruktion’ des Berliner Stadtschlosses genau an der Stelle, an der voher der Palast der Republik gestanden hat. Allerdings geht es hier um ein weniger bekanntes Beispiel: um die ‘Rekonstruktion’ des Potsdamer Stadtschlosses. Zum Projekt gehört sowohl der Umzug des Brandenburger Landtags in ein neues Gebäude, dessen klassische Fassaden dem ehemals an dieser Stelle stehenden preußischen Palast gleichen, als auch die entsprechende architektonische Verdichtung und Angleichung des gesamten umliegenden Bezirks an die Zeit vor den Weltkriegen. Wie die modernen DDR-Gebäude, die es ersetzt, wird das Stadtschloss im Grunde aus einem Betongerüst bestehen, dessen Fassade nun allerdings mit Backsteinen und Stein eingefasst sein wird. Meine These ist, dass dieses Projekt auf eine seltsame Unsicherheit gegenüber der Gegenwart und auf ein nostalgisches Verlangen nach der ‘guten alten Zeit’ schließen lässt, wobei die jüngste Vergangenheit mit Fassaden aus einer weiter zurückliegenden Geschichte zugedeckt werden soll. Als Schlussfolgerung biete ich einen Gegenentwurf an, der auf den Werten der Gegenwartsgeschichte als einer von vielen Schichten im Gewebe der Stadt besteht. Statt ältere architektonische Merkmale selektiv zu entfernen, befürworte ich eine Stadtplanung, die viele verschiedene Interpretationen und Bilder aus einer komplexen Vergangenheit nebeneinander stehen und zulassen kann.
    German Life and Letters 09/2010; 63(4):398 - 416. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-0483.2010.01507.x
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    ABSTRACT: This paper documents the policy context of renewable energy production in the European Union. The research adopts a choice experiment approach to investigate households' WTP for these renewable energy technologies in the UK. The micro-generation technologies comprise solar photovoltaic, micro-wind, solar thermal, heat pumps, and biomass boilers and pellet stoves. The study compares the results from conditional and mixed logit models, which estimate the distribution of utility coefficients and then derives WTP values as a ratio of the attribute coefficient to the price coefficient, with a model in which the WTP distribution is estimated directly from utility in the money space. The results suggest that whilst renewable energy adoption is significantly valued by households, this value is not sufficiently large, for the vast majority of households, to cover the higher capital costs of micro-generation energy technologies.
    Energy Economics 01/2010; DOI:10.1016/j.eneco.2009.06.004
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years social, economic and environmental considerations have led to a reevaluation of the factors that contribute to sustainable urban environments. Increasingly, urban green space is seen as an integral part of cities providing a range of services to both the people and the wildlife living in urban areas. With this recognition and resulting from the simultaneous provision of different services, there is a real need to identify a research framework in which to develop multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on urban green space. In order to address these needs, an iterative process based on the delphi technique was developed, which comprised email-mediated discussions and a two-day symposium involving experts from various disciplines. The two outputs of this iterative process were (i) an integrated framework for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and (ii) a catalogue of key research questions in urban green space research. The integrated framework presented here includes relevant research areas (i.e. ecosystem services, drivers of change, pressures on urban green space, human processes and goals of provision of urban green space) and emergent research themes in urban green space studies (i.e. physicality, experience, valuation, management and governance). Collectively these two outputs have the potential to establish an international research agenda for urban green space, which can contribute to the better understanding of people's relationship with cities.
    Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 12/2009; 8(2):65-75. DOI:10.1016/j.ufug.2009.02.001
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents results of an international comparative research project, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC) on the ‘learning potential of appraisal (strategic environmental assessment — SEA) in spatial planning’. In this context, aspects of ‘single-loop’ and ‘double-loop’ learning, as well as of individual, organisational and social learning are discussed for emerging post-EC Directive German practice in the planning region (Zweckverband) of Brunswick (Braunschweig), focusing on four spatial plan SEAs from various administrative levels in the region. It is found that whilst SEA is able to lead to plan SEA specific knowledge acquisition, comprehension, application and analysis (‘single-loop learning’), it is currently resulting only occasionally in wider synthesis and evaluation (‘double-loop learning’). Furthermore, whilst there is evidence that individual and occasionally organisational learning may be enhanced through SEA, most notably in small municipalities, social learning appears to be happening only sporadically.
    Environmental Impact Assessment Review 11/2009; DOI:10.1016/j.eiar.2009.03.001
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – Faced with an increasingly open society, retail concentration and population change, the purpose of this paper is to consider the challenges and potential for small towns to compete for custom from their residents. Design/methodology/approach – Retail challenges and potential are considered through exploring the attitudes and behaviour of residents in a range of towns, where the key factors affecting trade are identified using regression analysis and then explored further using more open-ended approaches. Findings – The resident surveys illustrate a sizeable leakage of retail expenditure out of the towns, particularly for comparison goods. Regression analysis shows that this leakage is more part of a general trend rather than being associated with high levels of migration into the towns. Residents seem to fit into two different groupings: first, those whose expectations can be met at the small town level; and second, those wanting a different offer and tending to go elsewhere. Encouraging trade from the former provides the most realistic policy objective. Practical implications – Key issues relate to getting the basics right, providing support to independent/specialist shops, encouraging firms to fill missing key elements of the retail offer and, where population change is occurring, ensuring that the expansion of services does not have detrimental effects for town centres. Originality/value – This paper illustrates that although there are many retail challenges-facing small towns, there is potential for them to maintain their viability and vitality.
    International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 07/2009; 37(9). DOI:10.1108/09590550910975790
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    ABSTRACT: To reduce the substantial contribution of the built environment to energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, the new ‘Part L: Conservation of Fuel and Power’ of the Building Regulations for England and Wales came into force in April, 2006. As a result, the design of all new-build and refurbished buildings must comply with ‘Target Carbon Emissions Rates’. Apart from the purely practical implications of compliance, the new Part L has prompted interesting questions concerning procurement and the impact on design and construction teams.The so-called ‘traditional method’ of procurement presupposes that designs are, in theory, completed before contractor involvement. In contrast, Design-and-Build (of which there has been a marked increase) relies upon a certain amount of concurrency in design, procurement and construction. In the light of the new Part L requirements, this presents a risk, particularly in the case of environmentally sensitive buildings, where the necessary design iterations are at odds with the contractor's time and cost incentives.These concerns have prompted the current investigation. Although the challenges relate to buildings as a whole, particular attention was paid to façades, as they represent an especially sensitive element. Data collection was by semi-structured interviews from a sample representing a selection of large construction companies, architectural practices and building performance consultants. The research framework was published in the proceedings of the 2007 Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management where it was selected for discussion in an industry-wide forum, and the current paper reflects this response and develops the topic further. [Hamza N. Greenwood D. The impact of procurement routes on delivering energy conscious buildings. In: Boyd D. editor. Proceedings of Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM), Vol. 2; September 3–5 2007. p. 723–732, Belfast, Northern Ireland.] [1].
    Building and Environment 05/2009; 44(5-44):929-936. DOI:10.1016/j.buildenv.2008.06.010
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