NERC Briefing note: integrating NERC(BGS) subsurface environmental research and data to city development processes and policy: key learning outcomes

Bonsor, H.C.. 2017 NERC Briefing note: integrating NERC(BGS) subsurface environmental research and data to city development processes and policy: key learning outcomes. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 35pp. (OR/17/005) (Unpublished)

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This report summarises the midpoint findings of a three year NERC Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowship examining how NERC(BGS) subsurface environmental data could have higher impact to city development processes, planning and policy. The NERC Fellowship is the first to see a NERC(BGS) researcher to be embedded within local government (Glasgow City Council) over a significant time period (three years) working with multiple service teams and levels of local government (LG), from senior management, to development policy teams, to geotechnical, engineering and project design groups within Development and Regeneration and Land and Environmental services. At present, there is a key gap in the use of NERC(BGS) research within early strategic decisions in LG development planning and policy – Figure (i). This is despite the relevance of the research and data to these decisions, the significant historical investment by NERC(BGS) in LG data acquisition, and the availability of regional datasets of subsurface ground conditions. Strategic knowledge of likely ground conditions and resource opportunities is essential for LG to inform Local Development Plan (LDP) policies, to be able to ‘screen’ and utilise land assets to greatest effect, to stimulate most appropriate city development and investment, and to deliver required housing and infrastructure. Key upfront LDP decisions are made largely in the absence of any strategic subsurface knowledge or screening data of subsurface ground conditions, (e.g. likely construction and remediation costs) with the exception of mining, or subsurface opportunities (e.g. building space, geothermal energy). This is in stark contrast to the high level of utilisation of NERC(BGS) data by the insurance industry to inform decisions of risk and land value/costs, and by both LG and engineering and geotechnical consultancies in the later-stages of the development process to inform project-scale decisions of design and construction – Figure (i). There are, therefore, key disconnects in the current use and impact of NERC(BGS) data within early stages of city development planning and policy. There is now a significant opportunity to bridge the knowledge gaps within both NERC(BGS) and LG, and to understand: what are the most relevant knowledge of subsurface conditions and opportunities for LG development planning and policy; and, what is the most accessible and relevant mechanism for delivery of the optimal knowledge

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: NERC
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed
Date made live: 17 May 2017 10:50 +0 (UTC)

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