Sustainability & Resilience Conference

The sustainability and resilience of buildings, settlements and the natural environment. Research, practice and support for social innovation.

23 April 2015
James Weir Building, Room 6.04, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

The interdependence of environmental, social, economic and planning aspects requires a multidisciplinary research approach and systems thinking to develop innovative solutions which simultaneously address various sustainability requirements in the built and natural environment.

The conference is supported by the 2020 Climate Group whose Chair, Dr Lori McElroy, will address the delegates.

The conference is chaired by Professor Branka Dimitrijevic, Director of Knowledge Exchange at the Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde.

The aim is to present recent research and practice, and invite speakers, practitioners and community representatives to identify research required to support communities’ engagement in social innovation that contributes to more sustainable living and greater resilience of settlements and the natural environment.

The panel discussion will explore the future research agenda for sustainable development, management, reuse and resilience of the built environment and natural environment. This will be in the context of global population growth, species extinction, climate change and energy security.





Welcome on behalf of the University/Faculty of Engineering


Welcome and introduction, Professor Branka Dimitrijevic, Director of Knowledge Exchange, Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde




Strengthening the resilience of the built and natural environment in Scotland: The 2020 Climate Group actions to engage businesses and researchers,  Dr Lori McElroy, 2020 Climate Group 


Considerate use of the natural capital: Landscape management and biodiversity for a more sustainable relationship of the natural and built environment, Clive Mitchell, Scottish Natural Heritage


Approaches to Recycling Urban Heritage in Globalizing Contexts: Lessons Learned from Emerging Cities, Professor Ashraf Salama, Head of Architecture, University of Strathclyde


Resilience of settlements environmental, economic and social aspects, Professor Milan Radosavljevic, School of Engineering & Science, University of the West of Scotland


Refreshment break


Planning aspects


Big Data for decision-making on urban planning, Dr Richard Bellingham, Institute for Future Cities, University of Strathclyde 


Integration of new developments in the natural and built environment, Malcolm Fraser, Malcolm Fraser Architects


Environmental aspects


Delivering resilient communities through effective land use planning, Katherine Lakeman, Scottish Environment Protection Agancy


Great Recovery Project in Support of Circular Economy, Jamie Cooke, The Royal Society of Arts




Climate change & energy security: A transition to low carbon living


Assessing the potential for renewable energy provision in settlements, Professor Joe Clarke, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Strathclyde


Distributing Power: A transition to a civic energy futureMs Elizabeth Robertson, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde


Social aspects


Enabling the Citizens’ Involvement in Creating Glasgow’s Future, Cyril Dyer,  Future City Glasgow


Beyond Cities: Community Actions for Transition to Sustainable Living,Chris Cook, Linlithgow Natural Grid, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Security & Resilience Studies, University College London


Refreshment break


Panel discussion


Introduction:  Using systems thinking to increase the sustainability and  resilience of the built and natural environment, Professor Branka Dimitrijevic, University of Strathclyde


Exploring the future research agenda to support social innovation* for sustainable living:

  • What governance frameworks and partnerships should be developed to support social innovation?
  • What ‘big data’ do communities and innovators need to enable development of innovative solutions?
  • What tools should be developed for different users to enable the use of a systems approach in decision-making on governance, planning, infrastructure systems and development of innovative solutions?
  • Other research themes identified by the speakers in relation to their research and/or practice, and suggested by the conference delegates.


Summary and thanks



* Social innovation is defined as problem-solving and social change achieved through the activism of social groups, organisations, communities and individuals who initiate and maintain new forms of engagement to contribute to more sustainable living by strengthening resilience in relation to economic, social and environmental context. The outputs of social innovation can be innovative products, services and/or activities which contribute to sustainable living.

Booking a place

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You'll find this event under Conferences & Events: Engineering Faculty.