CUED Publications database

Built environment of Britain in 2040: Scenarios and strategies

Gürdür Broo, D and Lamb, K and Ehwi, RJ and Pärn, E and Koronaki, A and Makri, C and Zomer, T (2021) Built environment of Britain in 2040: Scenarios and strategies. Sustainable Cities and Society, 65. ISSN 2210-6707

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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd We are living through a convergence of crises. In 2020, when the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic spread across the world, it brought economic instability in its wake. Sectors of the built environment (BE), among others, were hit hard by a public health crisis followed swiftly by an unprecedented economic downturn. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlighted the need for rapid and drastic action on climate change by 2030 to prevent the disastrous effects of a world warmed by more than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, raising the urgency of achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by Member States in 2015. Even rapid decarbonisation, the report warned, would likely not be sufficient to address the intertwined problems of poverty, mass migration, politics and ecological collapse that the SDGs seek to address. Digital technology offers an opportunity to better understand and model solutions to these complex crises, but it is unclear how digital technology should be harnessed in the face of an uncertain future. Written at the beginning of this critical decade leading up to 2030, this paper looks ahead 20 years in the future to better understand the resources, technology, economy, governance, infrastructure, mobility and social factors that may shape the development of Britain's digital BE. By exploring four scenarios around the variables of i) the UK's compliance with the interconnected targets of the SDGs and ii) the size of the workforce relative to the dependent population (dependency), this paper concludes with the identification of key strategies that can lead to the sustainable development of the BE sectors, outlining a number of actions that should be combined with the path for recovery from Covid-19 and are based on digital technology and a green information economy that ensures a future better for everyone in a digital built Britain.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div E > Strategy and Policy
Div D > Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2020 20:06
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2021 10:48
DOI: 10.1016/j.scs.2020.102645