Artwork created for Sustainable Earth 2017 by Heather Nunn, Print Maker

Marketplace session 1

16:15–17:45, Thursday 29 June

International standards for smart and sustainable cities and communities

Dr John Devaney, British Standards Institution

Additional presenters: Dr Victoria Hurth

In sustainable development, cities are seen as both problematic, with ecological footprints that cover the globe several times over, and potentially positive, with highly efficient operations per capita possible due to high population densities. 

The need for sustainable development, a methodology for assessing progress, and guidance on optimising the “smart city”, brought interested parties together in 2012 to start work on global standards to meet these needs. 

The first three standards resulting from the collaboration within the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO), reflected the cultures from which they came, although part of the ISO process is to bring them into international alignment. ISO 37101 is a standard for smart and sustainable cities and communities, based on a proposal from the French standards body (Afnor). 

It developed from ideas about planned business districts and is based on the concept of a management system, similar to ISO 14001 for environmental management. 

ISO 37120 is a reporting standard on city services and quality of life, proposed through the Canadian standards-development body (CSA) by a facility of the University of Toronto and initially supported by the World Bank. 

ISO/TS 37151 is a guidance standard in choosing key performance indicators for smart infrastructure projects, based on a proposal from the Japanese standards body (JISC).

The team of experts from the UK included Dr Victoria Hurth of the University of Plymouth, whose research on sustainable business and society provided insight into the development of ISO 37120. 

Overall, the process of standards development has been successful in meeting the interests of industry and national government, and the needs and aspirations of cities, by using the analysis of academia and working together to find consensus on practical solutions for a smart and sustainable future.

Seaside Squad

Miss Lana Dalby, University of Plymouth

Additional presenters: Paul Strutt, Isobel Carr and Daniel James

Our idea is an educational gaming app for children from the ages of 6+. The app has been designed to educate young children on the effects of marine pollution, the Great Barrier Reef and biodiversity. Initially the user would start with a small part of an island where they would clean it up, collecting the pollution along the way. 

Once the island has been cleaned up, animals would appear in the waters around the island. Once the user is able to look after the island and the animals they have already collected the island would grow and more pollution would come and effect the island, for example an oil spill or a fishing boat. 

We are aiming to educate the next generation on the effects of pollution and the effects it is has having on the world. There is currently nothing in the national curriculum to support this topic and with 75% of the UK's children owning a handheld device we are sure we can get this message across in a modern way. 

Our lecturers on the Plymouth plus module have told us to submit our idea as they were really impressed with our it.

Enhancing employees' pro-environmental behaviour within international hotel chains in China

Mr Jinhua Zhang, University of Plymouth

Climate change is a serious global issue that poses an urgent and perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing human kind. Organizations are regarded to be among the most significant contributors to climate change and in response, many have begun to adopt formal and informal environmental management systems, including international hotel chains (IHCs). 

Due to a rapid economic development, many IHCs have expanded their business to China since 1978. The IHCs proactively advocate their sustainability agenda and share their best practice. However, a review of literature in relation to IHCs indicate little is known about their implementation of the sustainability agenda in China.

As employees play a crucial role in implementing organisations’ strategies, this research aims to develop and test a model that links organisational culture, environmental specific transformational leadership and relevant staff training workshops to employees’ pro-environmental behaviour within international hotel chains.  

The research adopted an online questionnaire to survey employees who work in IHCs. Chongqing, one of four municipal cities in China, was considered as many IHCs have properties there. The city has and also close to many famous tourism attractions. 

An instrument was developed based on relevant tourism and hospitality literature. SPSS23 and AMOS23 were used to analyse the data. The conclusion focused on the suitability of the proposed model. Conceptual and practical implications were also discussed.

Moor Health and Wellbeing: National Parks as rehabilitation resources

Sarah Howes (SNAM) and Andy Edwards-Jones (Plymouth Institute of Education)

National Parks in England aim to ‘promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of national parks by the public’. 

The National Parks are tagged as Britain’s Breathing Spaces, alluding to their potential for relaxation, enhanced physical activity and social opportunities. Indeed evidence for the beneficial effects of natural environments for human health and wellbeing is well established (Barton et al., 2016) and finding creative and sustainable solutions to pressures on the NHS is becoming increasingly urgent (NHS Confederation, 2016). 

Nevertheless, uncertainties remain in how this natural resource can best be aligned with current health and social care services and their referral models (Bragg and Atkins, 2016) and how health inequalities (DoH, 2010) that persist in accessing natural environments (Burt et al., 2013) might be overcome. 

What processes and motivations underpin successfully increased access to this potential rehabilitation resource for a range of public health and wellbeing issues?

 A recent study in our two local National Parks, Exmoor and Dartmoor, evaluated programmes intended to encourage increased green prescribing by GPs and use of the moorland to help people feel happier and healthier. 

In this session, we will showcase some of the methods and activities that were designed to support participants’ health and wellbeing through small world play. 

We will also role play some tensions and barriers that arose in implementation and seek your active feedback on a toolkit that draws together guidance to facilitate the spread of successful approaches to other National Parks and natural environments.

What Remains: A photographic narrative of fragmented objects from journeys along the strandline

Caroline Burke, University of Plymouth

I am a member of the Land Water research group at the University of Plymouth. I will be presenting work from my current and on-going series ‘What Remains’. 

These cameraless photographs are made, not taken, using objects that I find on walks/journeys along Devon estuaries at low tide. The work references our throwaway culture and the dominance of plastics in our lives. 

The objects form an archive of sorts, a fragmented narrative of unknown peoples’ lives, as well as a material document of my journeys. Data shards appear here and there fragments of text and images, marine debris is common as is single-use plastic. 

Each diptych or triptych is made using discarded objects that were found in the same locations and on the same journey and this is central to the context in terms of the concept. 

They are about that particular place on a particular day. I revisit locations and some things will be the same and some will have changed.

I use a flatbed scanner to create the works, giving a particular aesthetic, which is significant. 

This aesthetic attraction, which can stand as a contradiction when you acknowledge the potential threat that these objects can pose to marine life is used to draw the viewer in with the subsequent message of awareness. ‘What Remains’ sits within a larger collection of projects that reflect my long-standing interest in marginal spaces where land and water meet.

Modelling energy use behaviour of British Asian households

Dr Satish Basavapatna Kumaraswamy, University of Plymouth

Recent studies show that actual energy demand from low carbon new-build homes can be up to 40% above expectations and energy savings from thermal upgrades are often under predicted. 

The inefficient behaviour of its occupants is identified as a contributing factor of this “performance gap”. This behaviour is also believed to be significantly correlated to the households’ socio-economic characteristics. While building simulation has made significant progress, the representation of occupants and their behaviour needs further work.

This research investigates the energy use behaviour of a specific demographic and ethnic group, the British Asian households. A large-scale housing survey is used to gather self-reported information about British Asian households’ energy use behaviour, for instance, heating patterns, appliances use, ventilation behaviour, as well as other socio-economic characteristics. 

Data collected will be analysed and transformed into energy models, which includes Space heating behaviour models, electrical appliances and lighting use models, Ventilation behaviour models, and architectural architypes that represent behaviour patterns for different demographic groups. 

The outcome of this research demonstrates how social perception and economic aspirations limit the acceptability of sustainable design and construction strategies.

This research involves active community participation and engagement; a major part of the dissemination will aim at communicating the research findings to the British Asian households, which will have a direct impact of energy reduction by informed behaviour choice. Further, this research will define the low carbon housing strategies and improved energy use predictions for the British Asian households.

Creating the Future: Linking Sustainability and Employability at Plymouth College of Art Pre-Degree Centre

Chris Smith, Plymouth College of Art

Exhibiting some artwork from our current sustainability project. Our Pre-Degree students (Photography, Graphic Design/Illustration/Game Arts, Fashion and Art & Design) are producing artwork on client briefs from Plymouth Energy Community, RegenSW, Devon Wildlife Trust, 361 Energy Action, South Devon Coastal Renewable Energy Network (SDCREN), South Brent Community Energy Society, Teign Energy Communities and Tamar Community Energy. The artworks will all be presentable in 2D and video formats.

Sugar Smart? Cross-sector collaboration to promote more sustainable eating patterns

Dr Clare Pettinger, University of Plymouth

Understanding the complexity of human, social and ecological implications of climate change and its impact on the food system and food security are real challenges. 

Food Policy options need to include influence at all stages of the food chain: production, marketing, availability and affordability of food (which together influence access) with a simultaneous focus on public awareness, food and nutrition skills, capacity and knowledge.

Evidence suggests that all sectors should be taking responsibility and working together to address food system and justice issues. This is already happening in many sectors, where we have seen the emergence of a range of local (and national) pro-active food partnerships and networks. 

This means finding optimal (sustainable) ways to work together, with clear identifiable purposes across a broad diversity of organizational structures and cultures. 

This is not easy, however, as there are often conflicting agendas between partners. Similarly, there may be key partners missing from the dialogues.

This marketplace session will be a simple interactive food project game. The aim will be provided (e.g. ‘to reduce sugar consumption’ or ‘to increase fruit and veg consumption’). 

The players will be provided with a stakeholder identity and role (each with a different agenda). The aim of the game is to work together to agree on a solution that will address the aim and meet the needs of all stakeholders. 

By illuminating an awareness of the challenges of collaboration across different sectors of the food system, insight will be provided on how we can work more effectively together, to consolidate cross-sector relationships.

Post-Earthquake Structural Health Monitoring System (PE-SMS)

Dr Andrew Fox, University of 

Additional presenters: Dr Ross Wilkins (Research Associate in Systems Engineering at Coventry University, UK) and Engr. Isabelo Rabuya (Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Philippines)

Within the urban centres of many developing countries, reinforced concrete structures (RCS) are the most common building archetype. 

However, poor design and quality control during construction makes RCSs susceptible to earthquake damage, often resulting in widespread structural damage after an earthquake event Assessing the severity of earthquake-induced damaged in RSCs requires specialist engineering knowledge and most developing countries have limited numbers of engineers qualified to undertake such assessments. 

As a consequence, delays in the completion of damage assessments can be significant. Without a post-earthquake structural assessment, building users are unable to recover from the seismic disaster and delays can impose significant additional social and economic damage within the victim community. 

This paper will explore the viability of a Post-Earthquake Structural Health Monitoring System (PE-SMS), using a wireless sensor network for collection, communication, and aggregation of structural health data. 

The underlying hypothesis is that such data will greatly facilitate the post-earthquake structural assessment process, helping engineers to target buildings that show signs of distress and allow some form of social and economic recovery in advance of the completion of a full damage assessment. 

A PE-SMS system, if deployed quickly, will have a significant impact, reducing delays in the damage assessment process as well as reducing further potential loss of life due to building collapse and mitigating avoidable social and economic losses.

Science to support sustainable fisheries in small island developing states

Dr Nichols Higgs, University of Plymouth

The Caribbean spiny lobster fishery one of the most valuable in the central American region, particularly to small island developing states (SIDS). 

The Bahamas fishery (the largest in the region) is currently working towards sustainable certification under the Marine Stewardship Council programme. 

I will outline my research and consultancy work in this process to show how fundamental science can support the management of sustainable fisheries.

There is an acute need for further interdisciplinary research to address the various knowledge gaps that will allow sustainable management of this fishery. 

The Bahamas is also listed as a Mission Blue ‘Hope Spot’ in recognition of the good environmental state of its marine realm. It is, therefore, all the more important to ensure that the valuable lobster fishery contributes to this success story.