Tag Archives: Sustainable Learning

Planning for a Greener Future – EU Green Week (21-25 May 2018)

by Hazel Ann Nash

Figure 1: The European Green Week is about (Source: European Commission DG Environment, 2018)
Figure 1: The European Green Week focuses on green(er) cities (Source: European Commission DG Environment, 2018)

This week is EU Green Week (see Figure 1) and whilst the UK grapples with challenges associated with its trading relationships post-Brexit, conversations in Brussels are focused instead on greening cities. This is a pertinent reminder that many of the big challenges are faced not by just one state but by all states around the globe. Nowhere is this more clearly recognised than in the strive towards sustainable development which has long been a relatively well agreed principle. First articulated in the Brundtland Report, the definition still most commonly used, explains sustainable development:

“Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (United Nations, 1987, para 27[i]). Continue reading Planning for a Greener Future – EU Green Week (21-25 May 2018)


Pokémon Go – Possibilities and problems for augmented reality and the environment

Pokémon Go in action. Source: https://pixabay.com/en/pokemon-pokemon-go-pocket-monster-1543353/ (last accessed 3 August 2016)
Pokémon Go in action. Source: https://pixabay.com/en/pokemon-pokemon-go-pocket-monster-1543353/ (last accessed 3 August 2016)

by David Adams

There is currently a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the recently released Pokémon Go.  It has been a great hit in many parts of the world: players walk around seeking out hidden monsters overlaid on the world around them, whilst tracking down real-life locations ‘tagged’ as stops in the game.  It is estimated that the game has been downloaded 15 million times since its release at the beginning of July.[i]  Gaming technology, as many would attest, has rich potential for a variety of disciplines and professions, and this recent example has been heralded by some as being something that encourages people, especially youngsters, to engage with the built and natural environment in new and exciting ways.[ii]  But the recent experience of Pokémon Go also raises some provocative questions about how individuals relate to their real-world environments.  Continue reading Pokémon Go – Possibilities and problems for augmented reality and the environment


Why isn’t our research having a greater impact on UK society?

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by Mark Reed

Throughout history, civilisations have risen and fallen on their ability to generate new knowledge and innovate in the face of major challenges. In the UK, many of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy are knowledge-based. This is made very clear at the Birmingham Made Me Design Expo 2013 at Millennium Point this month, which argues that design and innovation are drivers of wealth creation. This thirst for knowledge goes right to the heart of Government, with policy-makers increasingly striving to make “evidence-based” decisions on controversial issues like the designation of Marine Protected Areas and the creation of new markets for peatland carbon – issues that my colleagues and I at Birmingham School of the Built Environment are researching.

I think that we, as researchers, often take for granted that we have privileged access to the latest knowledge, forgetting that this is often locked behind publisher pay-walls. We have the skills to generate answers to some of the biggest questions facing society, and yet as a research community in the UK, only a small proportion of our work actually provides answers to these big questions. So why isn’t more UK research having a greater impact on society?

Continue reading Why isn’t our research having a greater impact on UK society?