Managing Environmental Change at the Rural-Urban Fringe The spaces where town meets country are often among the most treasured yet poorly understood places within the UK. This research answers three fundamental questions. How is this “rural fringe” changing and why? And how can we more effectively understand and manage change in places of such uncertainty, diversity and transition?What are we doing? • This interdisciplinary project will undertake research to inform future policy and practice across the UK addressing management issues concerning environmental change within the rural- urban fringe. • Initially, social and natural science concepts of spatial planning and ecosystem services are explored to create a new theoretical lens to identify and evaluate management issues and needs. From these, strategic principles are proposed and applied within two rural-urban fringe case study areas incorporating local stakeholders’ perspectives. A project monitoring and evaluation component also assesses research team learning and impact on resulting work practices. • Collectively, these outputs will promote an integrated and spatial model for rural-urban fringe management and signpost further research addressing the environmental change agenda.When are we doing it? • The £145K project will run for 18 months from 1st July 2010How are we doing it? • A unified project team of academics, practitioners and professionals ( Birmingham Environment Partnership, the University of Aberdeen, David Jarvis Associates, Forest Research, Green Economics Institute, Localise West Midlands, National Farmers Union, Natural England, West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum and Worcestershire County Council) committed to sustainable management and planning across both urban and rural and social and natural science boundaries will work together to harness their collective experience and knowledge to create a better model within which strategic planning for the rural-urban fringe might flourish.What will we produce? • Our approach allows academic and policy specialists to work collectively throughout the research process, crossing traditional rural/urban and natural/social science boundaries, to share knowledge and experience incorporating the latest theoretical and policy contributions from spatial planning and ecology as they relate to environmental change. • All results will be disseminated through reports, papers, real/virtual conference(s), the project website and podcasts.Who are we? • Principal Investigator: Dr Alister Scott, Reader in Spatial Planning at Birmingham City University. • Co-investigators: Mark Reed, Professor Richard Coles, Dr. Nick Morton and Dr. Rachel Curzon .What makes us special? • This project develops new tools and approaches to understand and manage change in the urban-rural fringe by combining the unique expertise of academics and practitioners in one team • The use of Sharepoint an ICT platform allows collaboration without need for costly meetings.Want to know more? • Contact Alister on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 331 5631 (office) / 07554147910 (mobile)
Managing Environmental Change at the Rural Urban FringeAbstractThe spaces where countryside meets town are often amongst society’s most valued places yet, arguably,lack sufficient understanding and integrated management within the UK. What is this “rural-urbanfringe”? How is it changing and why? And how can environmental change be managed moreeffectively where uncertainty, diversity, neglect, conflict and transition commonly feature? This projectbuilds on existing research and decision-making tools, set within a new conceptual framework.Crucially, the expertise and experience of academics and practitioners will be combined within aresearch team which pursues strategic and interdisciplinary agendas within a multi-staged process.Initially, social and natural science concepts from spatial planning and ecosystem services are exploredtheoretically to identify and evaluate management issues and needs. From these, strategic principles areproposed and applied within two rural-urban fringe case study areas involving desk studies, policy-based assessments and visioning exercises incorporating local stakeholders’ perspectives. A projectmonitoring and evaluation component also assesses research team learning and impact on resultingwork practices. All results will be disseminated through reports, papers, real/virtual conference(s), theproject website and podcasts. Collectively, these outputs will promote an integrated and spatial modelfor rural-urban fringe management and signpost further research addressing the environmental changeagenda.