Charlotte Johnson

UCL Energy Institute and UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources

What knowledge is needed to build an ecologically sustainable city?

In this fellowship, Dr Charlotte Johnson will explore how urban communities can be brought into the research process to co-produce knowledge with more impact. She will examine how the UK’s sustainability research agenda is produced, and will look at whether academics are asking the right questions, seeking out organisations in London interested in shaping a different research agenda.

Understanding the way we consume resources is central to research at the Energy Institute and the Institute for Sustainable Resources. Both institutes are helping policymakers tackle carbon emissions and change how societies use resources like water and energy. In applying this research, policymakers expect urban communities to take a key role, asking them to use resources more efficiently.

In practice, this active role is hard to achieve. People and technologies do not behave as imagined in academic research, and solutions such as carbon-neutral buildings fall short of their theoretical potential; models are revised and plans are changed.

Charlotte will use this fellowship to build contacts with groups running activities such as food co-ops, community energy initiatives or waste reduction schemes and bring their questions into UCL.

Charlotte will also develop a ‘community research commissioning strategy’ which will match community groups’ research projects with masters students interested in applying their academic learning in the not-for-profit sector. The strategy will critique academic knowledge about resource use, support community groups focused on sustainability and generate a postgraduate cohort experienced in applied research and public engagement.

Page last modified on 28 apr 14 18:05