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WMHPG news, information and resources 16 August 2019

Event – Healthy City Design 2019. 14-15 October, Royal College of Physicians, London. https://healthycitydesign2019.salus.global/conference-show/healthy-city-design-2019 . This will include the inaugural meeting of the Health in Planning Network (@HiPNetworkUK) including a lunchtime workshop on 15 October -  ‘Taking action towards trans-disciplinary partnership working for planning inclusive and health places’.

Sustainable development goals

Everyday authoritarianism: an anthropology of citizenship and welfare in austerity Britain: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/an-anthropology-of-citizenship-and-welfare/ “Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, Insa Koch explains how British citizens experience democracy and what grassroots understandings of politics and care they bring to their encounters with the state… Liberal democracy appears in crisis. From law and order policies to austerity measures to the Brexit vote, commentators have rushed to explain the current conjuncture. But while many have argued over ‘why’ liberal democracy has taken an illiberal turn, less attention has been paid to the ‘how’ and the ‘what’: to how democracy is experienced by its most marginalized citizens and what it means to them.”

guide to medical conditions that are most sensitive to social determinants of health: https://gregfellpublichealth.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/guide-to-medical-conditions-that-are-most-sensitive-to-social-determinants-of-health/ “Is there a straightforward guide to medical conditions that are most sensitive to social determinants of health. Was asked this q a few months ago, did a quick tweet by answer. With promise to follow up - Thanks to @mellojonny who prompted the q. He then gave me a list of eg of how we medicalise social determinants of health”

Healthy planning & environment

Embedding public health in Coventry’s licensing policy statement: https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/embedding-public-health-in-coventrys-licensing-policy-statement “A review of Coventry City Council's statement of licensing policy (SLP) benefits from considering public health and health equality issues.”

Missing capitals – How ONS measures the value of our environment: https://blog.ons.gov.uk/2019/08/08/missing-capitals-how-ons-measures-the-value-of-our-environment/ “Traditional methods of measuring the economy tend to exclude the value of some of our most important assets. At the Office for National Statistics we have been working to develop measures of these so-called ‘missing capitals’. Top of that list is the thing that sustains all activity on our planet; the natural environment. Dr Adam Dutton explains how the ONS is part of a growing international movement that is seeking to find the economic value of our “Natural Capital”.”

A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/06/climate/world-water-stress.html “Countries that are home to one-fourth of Earth’s population face an increasingly urgent risk: The prospect of running out of water. From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries around the world are currently under extremely high water stress, meaning they are using almost all the water they have, according to new World Resources Institute data published Tuesday.”

Rising water stress could counteract ‘global greening’, study says: https://www.carbonbrief.org/rising-water-stress-could-counteract-global-green-study-says “The increased growth rate of plants seen worldwide in response to rising CO2 levels – a phenomenon known as “global greening” – could be stalled by growing water stress, a study finds.”

Residents’ perceptions of sustainable drainage systems as highly functional blue green infrastructure: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204618311848 “Generally, residents liked the wildlife and green space but this was tempered with concerns over pests (rats and mosquitoes) and litter. Maintenance of SuDS was also an issue and at three sites residents were charged management fees which were not well understood and caused concern. The majority of residents were unwilling to contribute more to maintenance. Most residents and local estate agents did not perceive that SuDS increased property values. Raising awareness of the benefits of SuDS may lead to greater acceptance by residents and encourage developers to include them in developments, which could contribute to overcoming one of the barriers to wider implementation.”

Trump Weakens Endangered Species Protections, Making It Harder to Consider Effects of Climate Change: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/13082019/climate-change-endangered-species-act-arctic-trump-changes-polar-bears-wildlife “The changes also let the government consider economic interests and could open doors to oil and gas drilling and mining in sensitive areas, including the Arctic.”

Housing

Huge jump in property repossession figures ‘raises fears’ for UK households: https://www.independent.co.uk/money/spend-save/jump-property-repossession-alarm-bells-mortgages-house-prices-affordability-interest-rates-brexit-a9047716.html “This week, the Ministry of Justice reported mortgage possessions claims (the first step in the legal process of taking ownership of a home after mortgage arrears reach a critical point) are up by a staggering 39 per cent in the three months to June this year compared with the same quarter last year. Around 6,180 households had mortgage possessions claims made against them in the past three months. That’s the fourth consecutive increase in the number of claims made after a three-year period of stability. And yet repossession is the last-resort action taken by lenders who have been pushed hard in recent years to provide more help to borrowers struggling to pay their bills.”

Alternative Housing Tenures: https://sp-bpr-en-prod-cdnep.azureedge.net/published/2019/8/6/Alternative-Housing-Tenures/SB%2019-51.pdf “The briefing covers alternative housing tenures, which are additional to the three established tenures: owner occupation, private rent and social rent. The emergence of alternative tenures is set within the context of changing housing markets and new categories of housing need in Scotland. The effects of the Global Financial Crisis are still being felt and will continue to influence Scotland's housing market for years to come.”

Climate change & sustainability

Global coverage of the IPCC report on Climate Change and Land: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/srccl/

Solar PV Power Potential is Greatest Over Croplands: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-47803-3 “Solar power production potential was classified based on local land cover classification, with croplands having the greatest median solar potential of approximately 28 W/m2. The potential for dual-use, agrivoltaic systems may alleviate land competition or other spatial constraints for solar power development, creating a significant opportunity for future energy sustainability. Global energy demand would be offset by solar production if even less than 1% of cropland were converted to an agrivoltaic system.”

Council-owned solar farm generates £1.2m for frontline services: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Council-owned-solar-farm-generates-1.2m-for-frontline-services/47975 “One of the largest local authority owned solar farms in the UK has exceeded expectations and generated more than £1.5m of income in its third year – around £100,000 more than anticipated. The 12.4MW solar farm at Toggam Farm in Lakenheath has raised nearly £4m for West Suffolk Council since it was started in August 2016 thanks to sales to the National Grid.”

Market awaits record low prices as UK starts offshore wind showdown: https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/trending/llr7WeMvk_d51eA730xiOQ2 “...While the auction is open to a range of renewable energy technologies — excluding established sectors like onshore wind and solar photovoltaic but including, for the first time, wind projects on remote British islands — the low price ceiling set by the government for offshore wind means the technology is expected to be the overriding victor.”

Solar now ‘cheaper than grid electricity’ in every Chinese city, study finds: https://www.carbonbrief.org/solar-now-cheaper-than-grid-electricity-in-every-chinese-city-study-finds “Solar power has become cheaper than grid electricity across China, a development that could boost the prospects of industrial and commercial solar, according to a new study. Projects in every city analysed by the researchers could be built today without subsidy, at lower prices than those supplied by the grid, and around a fifth could also compete with the nation’s coal electricity prices.”

Every Premier League team ranked (by sustainability): https://www.edie.net/news/7/Every-Premier-League-team-ranked--by-sustainability-/ “As Premier League clubs scramble to secure deals before the end of Transfer Deadline Day, edie explores exactly what each of them are doing to champion sustainability.”

Major power outage across England and Wales;

The Multi-Billion-Dollar “Climate Services” Industry Is Altering Access To Climate Change Data. Critics Fear Some May Lose Out: https://ensia.com/features/private-climate-services-industry-environmental-justice-corporations-inequity/ “How do we avoid a future in which the best data for saving lives and property from climate destruction are only available to those who can afford it? That’s the question some observers and critics of “climate services” are asking. The fast growth of this field in recent years marks a profound shift in how our society creates and uses science. Rather than focus broadly on the regional, national or global impacts of rising temperatures, providers of climate services create data tailored to specific decision-makers: the mayor of a coastal city, say, or the CEO of an energy utility.”

ITV News launches 'major' climate change series at top of News at Ten to 'make people sit up and take notice': https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/itv-news-launches-major-climate-change-series-at-top-of-news-at-ten-to-make-people-sit-up-and-take-notice “ITV News devoted two-thirds of its flagship programme last night to a “major” new series on the impacts of climate change after deciding the issue needed to be made more “tangible” to its heartland viewers.”

American Meteorological Society - State of the Climate 2018: https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/publications/bulletin-of-the-american-meteorological-society-bams/state-of-the-climate/ “This is the 29th issuance of the annual assessment now known as State of the Climate, published in the Bulletin since 1996. As a supplement to the Bulletin, its foremost function is to document the status and trajectory of many components of the climate system. However, as a series, the report also documents the status and trajectory of our capacity and commitment to observe the climate system.”

Global sea level rise began accelerating ‘30 years earlier’ than previously thought: https://www.carbonbrief.org/global-sea-level-rise-began-accelerating-30-years-earlier-than-previously-thought “Global sea level rise began to accelerate in the 1960s, 30 years earlier than suggested by previous assessments, a new study finds.”

Rapid Coral Decay Is Associated with Marine Heatwave Mortality Events on Reefs: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30804-8 “These results demonstrate that severe-heatwave-induced mortality events should be considered as a distinct biological phenomenon from bleaching events on coral reefs. We also suggest that such heatwave mortality events, and rapid reef decay, will become more frequent as the intensity of marine heatwaves increases and provides further compelling evidence for the need to mitigate climate change and instigate actions to reduce marine heatwaves.”

'Ecological grief': Greenland residents traumatised by climate emergency: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/12/greenland-residents-traumatised-by-climate-emergency “The climate crisis is causing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety to people in Greenland who are struggling to reconcile the traumatic impact of global heating with their traditional way of life.”

North Pole: multiple lightning strikes follow record-low sea ice levels: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/13/north-pole-multiple-lightning-strikes-follow-record-low-sea-ice-levels “Multiple lightning strikes have been observed 300 miles from the North Pole, according to the US National Weather Service, in the latest sign of extreme changes to the Arctic environment. The strikes, detected by the NWS station in Fairbanks, Alaska, were produced by towering storm clouds. They were detected on Saturday, and while not unique, come as the region is experiencing record-low sea ice levels, high temperatures and widespread fires on areas of tundra.”

Active travel & transport

Essential Evidence on a Page No. 187: Examining the politics of transport planning: https://travelwest.info/project/ee-no-187-examining-the-politics-of-transport-planning “Top line: Politics is a key determinant of transport policy. Attempts at evidence-based transport policy are often thwarted by ideological stances at odds with environmental sustainability, and focused on road building rather than on access for all.”

Away With All Cars: https://common-wealth.co.uk/away-with-all-cars.html “This report sets out the contours of an alternative vision for transport: public focused, multi-modal, and zero carbon. It sets out how London could become a private car free-zone by 2030 and the multiple benefits that would generate, alongside a strategy for rapidly improving connectivity, affordability, and quality of low carbon travel across the rest of the UK, including new powers and funding to deliver a better, net-zero transport system.” – more here - London could go car-free by 2030, says think tank: https://airqualitynews.com/2019/08/12/london-could-go-car-free-by-2030-says-think-tank/

Copenhagen has taken bicycle commuting to a whole new level: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-08-07/copenhagen-has-taken-bicycle-commuting-to-a-new-level “Cycling has been a part of the good life in Copenhagen for decades. It started its modern comeback in 1973 after global oil price shocks hit motorists in this once-grimy industrial city hard. Despite windy and rainy conditions for much of the year, biking in Copenhagen became increasingly popular in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to a build-it-and-they-will-come mentality — and plenty of public clamoring for a network of wide, segregated cycling lanes elevated a few inches above street level.”

Air quality & pollution

Emission Impossible: Air Pollution, national governance and the transport sector: http://brightblue.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Emission_Impossible_Final.pdf “This report focuses on the sources of, impacts of, and attitudes towards air pollution across the whole of the United Kingdom. It then goes on to explore the role the national Government does and could play in reducing air pollution, particularly from NO2. Bright Blue is an independent think tank and pressure group for liberal conservatism.”

NASA-funded study to map ground level air pollution: https://airqualitynews.com/2019/08/01/nasa-funded-study-to-map-ground-level-air-pollution/ “While effective at delivering big-picture data, scientists say the current network of satellites struggles to provide details on the number of pollutants that we currently breathe at ground level as they only provide data from five or 10 miles above ground. So to obtain this data closer to earth, the research team will merge satellite data with data obtained from NASA’s aircraft observational campaigns and meteorological data that is logged by commercial airlines and various atmospheric models.”

Air pollution in a tweet: communicating complex science: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/air-pollution-tweet-communicating-complex-science “Air pollution is a complex issue that is difficult to communicate to most people. What causes air pollution? How does it affect our children’s cognitive development? What does air pollution have to do with rising temperatures? Pallavi Pant is an air quality scientist who received her PhD in urban air quality in 2014. Today, she is a staff scientist at the Health Effects Institute in Boston. She is also Social Media Editor with the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, where she aims to communicate the journal’s work to a broader audience.”

Changes in hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) emissions in China during 2011‐2017: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2019GL083169?af=R “In this study, we estimate emission magnitudes and changes of four major HCFCs in China over the period 2011‐2017 based on atmospheric observations at seven sites. We find the emissions of all four HCFCs reached their peaks before 2015, which generally agree with the emission inventories estimated using production and consumption information, suggesting the effectiveness of the implementation of Montreal Protocol in China. However, there is a big gap between the total HCFC‐22 emission from China, the European Union and the USA and global totals, suggesting large HCFC emitted from the rest of the world.”

White and wonderful? Microplastics prevail in snow from the Alps to the Arctic: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/8/eaax1157 “Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous, and considerable quantities prevail even in the Arctic; however, there are large knowledge gaps regarding pathways to the North. To assess whether atmospheric transport plays a role, we analyzed snow samples from ice floes in Fram Strait. For comparison, we investigated snow samples from remote (Swiss Alps) and populated (Bremen, Bavaria) European sites.”

Food & food security

No-deal food planning in UK Brexit: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)31769-6/fulltext “Even for a country with a long history of arguments about food supply,1 the UK's present situation is remarkable. A country that received 28% of its food in 2018 directly from the European Union (EU),2 plus 11% more through EU trade deals,3 is now planning, under the leadership of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to leave the EU (“Brexit”) on Oct 31, 2019, with or without an agreement on how and what the terms are for trade, customs, and food security. The food implications for consumers and public health of a no-deal Brexit are seeping out of government but deserve full scrutiny.”

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Freeth Street
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B69 3DE

 

Jo Dodd - 07815 490436

Rajdeep Atwal - 0121 569 5121