Research Theme: Urban & Community Transformation
Cities represent 9% of the UK’s landmass but house 54% of the UK’s population
Cities represent 9% of the UK’s landmass but host 59% of the UK’s jobs
With more than half of the world’s population now estimated to live in cities the evolution of our urban areas affects more people than ever before. The N8 Urban and Community Transformation theme is focused on research affecting cities, communities, our work, our culture and heritage and how our cities our governed and managed.
This programme will establish a portfolio of projects addressing different topics relating to cities, devolution, the Northern Powerhouse and all aspects of urban life. These will be highly interdisciplinary in approach, linking engineering, planning, architecture, geography, urban studies, critical social sciences as well as computational analysis.
Knowledge that Matters: Co-Production
Modern societal challenges, particularly those related to complex systems like cities, are becoming ever more complex. To address this complexity N8 has been developing new methods of co-producing research between academics and research-users that ensure knowledge is developed and applied to impact on these societal challenges. “Co-Production” between researchers and end-users ensures that all stakeholders have input into a research project ensuring that the relevant societal questions are answered.
N8 Policing Research Partnership
The N8 Policing Research Partnership is utilising the concepts of co-production to harness the insights of all police forces and policing & crime commissioners across the North, along with the Institute of Policing and other major stakeholders, who work with N8 in identifying issues and challenges.
By identifying the real-world problems in a collaborative manner, N8 Policing Research Partnership can identify and develop the key impactful innovations and advances in policing for the 21st century.
Impact of Arts and Humanities
Within arts and culture N8 has developed published the results of a pilot study that identified ways in which academics, practitioners, and local authorities could work in partnership to stimulate invention and influence economic growth across the North of England.
Following-on from this project, utilising both the findings of this project and co-production methods, N8 is partnering with many leading cultural institutions in the North to develop a programme to build Culture as a key component of Northern Powerhouse urban transformation.
80% Of the UK population lives in cities and the North of England encompasses 5 of the 6 large metropolitan areas outside of London. The N8 universities are engaging in research to look at novel solutions to solving the problems of urban living such as issues relating housing, transportation, poverty and inequality, disease and healthcare, supply of basic amenities, climate change etc. As the numbers of people living in cities rises it becomes increasingly important to find new means of sustaining urban living, promoting a balance between economic growth, social cohesion, efficient infrastructure, and environmental well-being.
We see these projects as just a beginning, and as we move forwards we will seek to position N8 as core contributors to the intellectual underpinning essential for an effective Northern Powerhouse, that transforms northern cities into an interconnected, cross-sector innovation hub.