Behaviour Change

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Sustainable Connected Cities

PI: Yvonne Rogers


The vision for the Intel Collaborative Research Institute focused on Sustainable and Connected Cities (ICRI-Cities) is to create an evolutionary leap for cities and enhance the social, economic and environmental well being of cities by advancing compute, communication and social constructs to deliver breakthrough innovations in system architecture, algorithms, and societal participation. The aim to enhance the Sustainable City Experience of the future, with the goal of designing and using new technologies to help enable citizens, neighbourhoods, and public employees to be better connected and improve collective situational awareness, while feeling safe and protected. This goal includes asking how to build trust about emergent technologies and incentivize sharing and creative optimization of resources cities offer in sustainable and innovative ways, be it electricity usage, volunteering, use of green spaces and learning spaces or getting around.

Much of the research and council-led initiatives to change people’s behaviour to have less environmental impact (such as reducing energy consumption or changing mode of transport) have been able to show only short-term effects. Moreover, there is a tendency to return to ‘old habits’ once the champion, publicity, intervention, etc., have been taken away. A key question is how can sustainable behaviour in its various forms – be sustained over a long period of time, preferably indefinitely?  What mix of policies and technologies can be used to best effect? Which behaviours are most amenable?  How do communities take on the sustainable challenge themselves and understand what it takes?

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Pain Rehabilitation: E/Motion-based automated coaching

PI: Nadia Berthouze

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Completed Projects

Digital Epiphanies

PI: Anna Cox

The advances in technology in recent years have had many positive effects on the ways in which people can combine work and personal life. For example, being able to access email via a smartphone means that many can work from home, or work a flexible work pattern that successfully fits around caring responsibilities. However, the resulting "always-online" culture in which people expect almost instant responses to email messages, brings stresses and strains to those who feel under pressure to respond immediately and be available on a 24/7 basis.  This project will explore the impact of a range of digital technologies and practices on work-life balance across a range of individuals and households and whether existing technologies can be used to support and enable reflection on technological and work-life practices, and to bring about sustainable changes in practices

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KTP with Passive Systems

PI: Paul Marshall


Heating your home accounts for about two thirds of domestic energy use, on average.  Domestic energy use also accounts for about a third of UK energy use in total.  Heating homes is therefore a single and large contribution to the UK’s carbon emissions.  It is also a large expense for individual households, and one where relatively small changes can reap large rewards – lowering average internal temperatures by 1 degree reduces the energy  used by about 10% in the UK.  Large proportions of homeowners don’t make simple changes, like turning down the temperature at night, or during the day when no one’s in.  Large proportions also switch their programmable heating controls to manual mode – reducing the opportunity for automation to take the strain of managing home temperatures efficiently.  UCLIC is working with a UK business - PassivSystems - to improve it’s customers engagement with their smart central heating controls as part of a Technology Strategy Board funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership.  Using persuasive design techniques we are trialling a number of interventions to encourage and enable energy saving, putting users in greater control of their heating through greater access to timely information about their system and their use of it, and making it easier for them to enact changes to it.

Page last modified on 17 dec 14 15:15 by Rowanne Fleck