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Cities 2050 – ESRC Festival of Social Science

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Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

South Atrium

All Saints

Manchester

M15 6BH

United Kingdom

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Part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2019

Cities 2050 is a day of talks, activities and interactive sessions to get you thinking about how urban life will change over the next 30 years.

Join us with our researchers on 6th November 2019 from 1.30pm in the Business School (South Atrium) for refreshments and interactive events.

Presentations start at 3pm (please check below for further details).


Afternoon presentations

Introduced by Michael Taylor, Head of Regional Affairs at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Play Carbon City Zero! – Dr Sam Illingworth & Dr Paul Wake

London 2050. Cambridge 2050. Edinburgh 2040. Liverpool 2040. Manchester 2038. Bristol 2030. Newcastle 2025. The race to become Britain's first zero carbon city is on! We invite you to enjoy this hands-on, interactive gaming session.

As the newly appointed City Mayor your task is simple: create a carbon neutral city – show the rest of the world how it is done! It sounds easy, but you'll soon discover that your carbon budgets are hard to balance. Can you hit the zero carbon target before it’s too late?

Carbon City Zero is a brand-new tabletop game that challenges players to think about decarbonisation and develop plans for a sustainable future. This game is a fun way to explore what it means to be a zero-carbon city and discover the challenges, opportunities and twists that cities will have to address as they seek to cut out their carbon emissions.

Place-making in cities with older adults – Professor Rebecca Lawthom & Dr Jenny Fisher

Cities are increasingly important spaces for people to live and age well in. The World Health Organization calls cities that encourage healthy ageing ‘age-friendly cities’. If we want to understand how older adults experience cities, we must engage with them, as they are experts. Capturing a sense of place is key to this understanding. This event will offer insights on this subject through an exhibition, policy guidelines and diaries from older place makers, and uses data gathered from a project in which we worked with neighbourhoods in cities within the UK – Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow – and Brazil.

Bad Bugs Bookclub: Influenza in fact and in fiction – Emeritus Professor Jo Verran

By 2050 around 70% of the world's population will be living in cities. So many people in such close contact: a perfect environment for the spread of disease. Will our future cities be infection hotspots? And are there ways to prevent major outbreaks and global pandemics?

Emeritus Professor of Microbiology and founder of the Bad Bugs Bookclub, Jo Verran will describe how disease transmission and infection control are portrayed in a range of different stories. What role do cities play as a plot device in the transmission of disease in fiction?

We welcome you to rejoin Jo at 6.30pm when the Bad Bugs Bookclub will explore themes and discuss the role of a viral pandemic and ‘health enforcement’ in the thriller The Health of Strangers by Lesley Kelly.

Chasing the Dream for Zero CarbonDr Justyna Kulczyk-Malecka

Are you worried about the climate crisis? It is estimated that in 70 years time, our planet’s current reserves of coal and gas will be depleted. In our research, we investigate the use of hydrogen as an alternative energy source without compromising on sustainability. 75% of the Universe consists of hydrogen, and combining hydrogen with oxygen allows the generation of electricity in a single-step chemical process with only one byproduct – clean water. Join us to learn about how we can transform our future by shifting from fossil fuels towards a sustainable, zero-carbon future.

We will share our research about the science behind hydrogen fuel cell technology, showing you how the fuel cell works and where can it be applied in our everyday lives. You can also experience electrolysis (i.e. water splitting) using a solar or battery-powered electrolyser, and interact with hydrogen fuel cell powered toys – such as cars, fans and mini-wind turbines.

High Streets and Town Centres: Proposals for 2030 and beyond – Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr

This short talk will introduce the 'All School Project' – a collaboration between the Manchester School of Architecture and the Institute of Place Management. The talk, which is a precursor to the ‘High Streets 2030 and Beyond’ symposium on 7 November, will discuss a neglected space in the debates about the future high streets – ‘District Centres’. These are important places as they help shape the liveability of neighbourhoods, providing everyday services and necessities, together with sites for leisure and social interaction and exchange.

A key challenge, however, is that retail, banking, estate agents and travel agents have been disrupted by technological change, leading to the withdrawal of these functions from many places. This has left voids and vacancies.

It is timely therefore to reimagine what these places might be, how they might better serve local communities, both now and in the near future. This may mean a return to the traditional function of local centres, as meeting places for the local communities, as spaces of leisure, comprising good public realm and meeting places. The 'All School Project' has bought together 850 students to tackle the problems in five district centres of Manchester and will be on display as part of the Festival from the 4–7 November in the Benzie Vertical Gallery.

Welcome to our driverless future! – Dr May Bassanino

This is a chance to learn about driverless vehicles and discuss their potential and risk with expert engineers and researchers.

The frustrating experience of short journeys and lack of service provision often puts people off from using public transport. It is so much easier to get in a taxi and travel door-to-door. The driverless POD addresses this issue: it is a convenient, low-cost, reliable, on-demand and shared service that links transport hubs and creates a seamless home-to-destination travel experience.

Manchester Metropolitan researchers will be happy to tell you all about the POD and the road trials as well as answer all your questions about driverless car technology, safety and future developments.

Panel debate

Michael Taylor will guide conversation between the presenters and audience to identify the biggest challenges and disruptors that future cities will have to face. What is the place and importance of social sciences today to shape policy, innovation and research as we prepare for 2050 living? Can we anticipate future unknowns and make sure today’s science asks and answers the tomorrow’s questions?


Evening presentation

Bad Bugs Bookclub: The Health of Strangers by Lesley Kelly

This event requires separate booking to the main Eventbrite – BOOK HERE

Refreshments served at 6.30pm.

Nobody likes the North Edinburgh Health Enforcement Team, least of all the people who work for it. An uneasy mix of seconded Police and health service staff, Mona, Bernard and their colleagues stem the spread of the Virus, a mutant strain of influenza, by tracking down people who have missed their monthly health check. Now two young female students are missing…

Join fellow bibliophiles to discuss the topics of viral spread and infection control in this fast-paced crime thriller set in a post-pandemic, near-future Edinburgh. You’ll discover how fiction writers bring fresh perspectives to the age-old horrors of infectious disease. Can scientists, epidemiologists and public health specialists learn new tricks by reading fiction like this? Could we ever expect an officer from Health Enforcement knocking on our door in the middle of the night?

During the evening, we will Skype with author Lesley Kelly to find out more about her motivations for writing the story and what she discovered about epidemiology during her research.

Don’t forget to read the book in advance!

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Date and Time

Location

Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

South Atrium

All Saints

Manchester

M15 6BH

United Kingdom

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