Environmental methods of surface transport noise reduction

Prof Keith Attenborough and Dr Shahram Taherzadeh (OU) Noise barriers are a common method of combating noise (mentioned under ‘environment’ in the KESS hot topics list) but they may be unsightly and tend to divide communities because any gaps affect their efficiency. The presentation will describe alternative methods based on the results of the Open University … Read more

Planning for Coastal Community Resilience

Dr Linda McElduff (Ulster) Coastal communities on the island of Ireland face a range of structural and locational challenges, including changing environmental parameters and the risk of specific coastal hazards. Such challenges have clear implications for the planning and regeneration of coastal resorts, as well as integrated coastal management. Some coastal communities are seeking to … Read more

Waste management and disposal: locating illegal buried waste using remote sensing (satellites, aircraft, drones and geophysics)

Dr Alastair Ruffell (QUB) Buried illegal waste and uncontrolled legal waste dumps are a major problem in Northern Ireland, as well as in Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Canada. The mention of the words ‘Moubouy Road’ are enough to demonstrate to anyone the politically-charged nature of this problem. Yet the environmental (loss of habitat, pollution of groundwater) … Read more

Maximising Production and Biodiversity in NI Agriculture

Prof Ian Montgomery (QUB) Agriculture in Northern Ireland (NI) has changed little from 1970 with its emphasis on grass production and livestock sectors. It is dependent on a narrow range of enterprises and subsidies, and beset by production, waste, financial and social issues. NI agriculture lacks a strategic plan that addresses its problems holistically, or … Read more

Carbon, economic growth and unsustainability: the inevitable transition to a low carbon economy beyond GDP

Dr Philip O’Sullivan (OU) This seminar will focus on environmental economics and policy. It will present the case that, despite the recent global economic downturn and recession in the United Kingdom, the current economic policy response of expanding growth driven by fossil fuel production is actually unsustainable. Rather than being the answer to increased prosperity … Read more