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City’s former planning chief on why London is ‘unplannable’

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Professor Peter Rees (UCL Bartlett School of Planning) takes a boat trip on the Thames to point out the highs and lows of the capital’s changing skyline. Watch: Financial Times

Nuclear plants closure bill to reach $100bn

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Dr Paul Dorfman (UCL Energy Institute) says that the International Energy Agency’s $100bn estimate for closing down and cleaning up the world’s nuclear reactors is only for decommissioning and does not include the costs of permanent waste disposal. Read: Financial Times

Fracking won't cut bills and ministers 'oversold' shale gas benefits

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A report co-authored by Dr Christophe McGlade (UCL Bartlett School Environment, Energy & Resources) warns that fracking won’t cut energy bills and ministers have “oversold” the benefits of UK shale gas exploration. Read: Telegraph, More: Guardian, Northern Echo

IPCC report

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Professor Michael Grubb (UCL Bartlett School Environment, Energy & Resources) discusses the latest IPCC report on climate change. Listen: BBC Radio 5 live ‘Sunday Breakfast’ (from 1 hour 18 mins)

Supplies of rare earth materials are still far from secure

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Professor Raimund Bleischwitz (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) says: “Materials essential for technology products such as electric vehicles, wind turbines or hard disks, known as rare earth elements, aren’t becoming any less rare, or any less crucial”. Read: The Conversation

London ranks poorly for small businesses to make a living

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Dr Jessica Ferm (UCL Bartlett School of Planning) says that if conversions from office space into housing continue at their current rate, businesses moving away from the centre of London due to price increases will have fewer relocation options. Read: Financial Times

How the world of work runs on networks and networking

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Professor Michelle Baddeley (UCL Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management) discusses how traditional network structures are beneficial in leveraging the weak ties between people but an ideal network wouldn't be discriminatory or exclusive. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Networking Nation' (from 5 mins 12 secs), More: BBC Radio 4 'Nation of Networkers' (from 3 mins 13 secs)

Europe needs gas and Russia needs cash, so expect an energy-fuelled reconciliation

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Dr Catalina Spataru and Professor Raimund Bleischwitz (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) looks at whether Europe’s reliance on Russia for gas and Russia’s reliance on Europe for revenue could draw them back together despite the political rhetoric. Read: The Conversation

Ecotricity considers legal challenge over EU go-ahead for Hinkley Point C

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Dr Paul Dorfman (UCL Energy Institute) comments on the European commission’s decision to give approval to Hinkley Point C nuclear plant. Read: Guardian

Maps, apps and technology to make city life more fun

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Technology is being used to make city navigation more fun, including a helmet designed by Panos Mavros (UCL CASA) which helps establish which routes in London are the least stressful for those whose vision is impaired and humanising technology by Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith (UCL CASA). Read: BBC News

Energy efficient buildings – beware possible health risks

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Melissa Lott (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources) looks at whether home energy efficiency initiatives could have negative impacts on public health. Read: The Conversation

Megaprojects revolution

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Professor Andrew Davies (UCL Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management) explains how Heathrow T5 and Crossrail have helped transform the way we design and deliver infrastructure megaprojects in the UK. Read: Times

Meeting emissions target will create jobs

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Research conducted by Professor Paul Ekins (UCL Energy Institute) and Cambridge Econometrics has found that meeting targets to cut carbon from the power sector, transport, homes and businesses could reduce imports of oil and gas by £8.5bn a year by 2030. Read: Daily Mail, More: Belfast Telegraph

Where in the UK do people swear most on Twitter?

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A study by Dr Hannah Fry and Dr Ed Manley (UCL CASA) has revealed which areas of the UK Twitter users are most likely to swear in their posts. Read: BBC News, More: Independent, Guardian, Metro, Belfast Telegraph, The Hindu, Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Future Proof' (from 30 mins 35 secs)

Qatari investment gives London developments a fillip

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Professor Peter Bishop (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture) says Qatari investments in major London developments are having a beneficial impact on improving areas of capital such as the South Bank and the East End. Read: Gulf Times

Mexican energy reform may be a bridge to a low carbon economy – or a fossil fuel past

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Baltazar Solano Rodriguez (UCL Energy Institute) explains Mexico’s new energy reforms, which include opening deep-water oil and shale fields to foreign investment, as well as liberalising Mexico’s electricity industry. Read: The Conversation

London debates the virtues of high and low

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Professor Peter Rees (UCL Bartlett School of Planning) says that many high-rise building projects are aimed at foreign buyers who often buy to invest and not to live in. Read: New York Times

North-South infrastructure divide

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Professor John Tomaney (UCL Bartlett School of Planning) discusses the disparity in the amount of money spent in the North-East and in London on infrastructure. Listen: BBC Radio Newcastle 'Breakfast' (from 23 mins 49 secs)

Northern powerhouse

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Professor John Tomaney (UCL Bartlett School of Planning) discusses the Chancellor’s vision for a ‘Northern Powerhouse’. Listen: BBC Radio Cornwall ‘Mark Forrest’ (from 13 mins 55 secs)

You might be surprised to find out who is living in London’s luxury apartments

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Dr Nicola Livingstone (UCL Bartlett School of Planning) looks at how the internationalisation of education and the “flight to quality” of overseas students to highly rated institutions has changed London’s student housing market. Read: The Conversation

Get London’s infrastructure right

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Professor Tim Broyd (UCL Bartlett) comments on the London Infrastructure Plan (LIP) 2050 report and the radical changes to planning required to deliver the LIP effectively. Read: Evening Standard

Sir Peter Hall obituary

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Professor Sir Peter Hall (UCL Bartlett School of Planning), a pre-eminent geographer, town planner and social scientist, has passed away aged 82. Read: Guardian, More: Financial Times, Telegraph, Times (£), Herald Scotland, New York Times, Architects' Journal (£), UCL News

Capacity Mechanism

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Professor Michael Grubb (UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources) discusses the government’s Capacity Mechanism and says that the likelihood of power cuts occurring is very small. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘You and Yours’ (from 38 mins 16 secs)

What is a circular economy?

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Dr Teresa Domenech (UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources) explains what a circular economy is and how one can be implemented in the EU. Read: The Conversation

Will ever more gowns blight towns?

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Professor Sir Peter Hall (UCL Bartlett) comments on how uncapping student numbers may affect the relationship between universities and their local environment. Read: THE

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