What would a ‘just transition’ in Bristol look like?
About the project or challenge area
In November 2018, Bristol declared a ‘climate emergency’ and pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2030. This comes with radical policy implications, with such action likely to have far-reaching and cross-sectoral consequences. However, there is also a danger that such a low carbon transition may create new or exacerbate pre-existing patterns of inequality (Bridge et al. 2013; Balta-Ozkan et al. 2015). Whilst there is tendency to present sustainability transitions as ‘win-win’ scenarios, it is important to pay attention to the differential costs and benefits of these transitions, the different levels of access to decision-making held by diverse people and communities, and different perceptions of both what the issue is and how it should be addressed (Blythe et al. 2017; Blythe et al. 2018; Ajibade 2017).
This project will unpack what Bristol’s 2030 vision may mean for the spatial and social dynamics in the city. Drawing on qualitative research methods, it will engage with local organisations to explore how notions of energy democracy, environmental justice and just transition can provide routes to advance democratisation and participation in the energy and environmental politics of Bristol. In doing so, it will assert the importance of questions of politics, justice and equity in relation to Bristol’s 2030 target.
Why choose this opportunity?
You will have the opportunity to engage with and build networks between researchers, local community groups and policy-makers across Bristol. In addition, you will work alongside researchers from both the natural and social sciences – gaining extensive experience in interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration – an emergent space of sustainability science.
We welcome applications from candidates with a knowledge of both qualitative research methods and the interactions between environmental policies addressing GHG emissions and urban areas.
How to apply
All students can apply using the button below, following the Masters by Research Admissions Statement (PDF, 187kB). Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Masters by Research Statement Template (Office document, 68kB).
Your co-supervisor for this project will be Dr Jo House, Reader in Environmental Science and Policy in the School of Geographical Sciences. You can contact her at +44 (0) 117 928 8303 or email Jo.House@bristol.ac.uk.
Find out more about your prospective research community
The City Futures theme is a vibrant community of researchers who are helping cities to better understand the complex challenges they face, and support their transition to becoming sustainable, resilient and inclusive places with a high quality of life for all. Find out more about the City Futures research theme.