Mathematics helps us to deal with time and space, an important truism for those individuals who work on behalf of society to impose order on nature. Civil engineers in particular have to seek to harmonise their creations with the natural environment while working within temporal and special constraints. For example, engineers have to synthesise natural and man-made rhythms, meaning that timings need to be synchronised, often with a very high degree of precision. Their creations need to be harmonised with the natural landscape, and while some can hug the contours of the landscape, canals, railways, pipelines, tunnels and major roads need to cut through it such that they are linear or curved in plan and uniform in gradient. This is simple geometry made complicated by myriad engineering calculations. As we transition to a world of autonomous vehicles and robotics to mimic human thinking and actions, multiple data feeds and near instantaneous conversions into intelligent movements stretch our capacity to make calculations. Harmonising this with our infrastructure and urban systems to yield a safe, efficient and effective world today, and one that is sustainable and resilient as we look to the far future, is one of the most important mathematical challenges of the modern age. Mathematics pure and simple, or applied and complicated, permeates everything we do, therefore.
Reading cities: Developing an urban diagnostics approach for identifying integrated urban problems with application to t...Published: 01 March 2019 by Elsevier BV in Cities
For policymakers, planners, urban design practitioners and city service decision-makers who endeavour to create policies and take decisions to improve the function of cities, developing an understanding of cities, and the particular city in question, is important. However, in the ever-increasing field of urban measurement and analysis, the challenges cities face are frequently presumed: crime and fear of crime, social inequality, environmental degradation, economic deterioration and disjointed governance. Although it may be that many cities share similar problems, it is unwise to assume that cities share the same challenges, to the same degree or in the same combination. And yet, diagnosing the challenges a city faces is often overlooked in preference for improving the understanding of known challenges. To address this oversight, this study evidences the need to diagnose urban challenges, introduces a novel mixed-methods approach for doing so, applies (and critiques) the approach to the city of Birmingham, UK, and proposes a set of principles for the transferability of this new urban diagnostic methodology to other cities. The paper argues that applying a rigorous, explorative, diagnostic approach to ‘reading cities’ provides confidence that all critical challenges have been identified and, crucially, identifies how they are interdependent, both of which have implications for how policymakers and decision-makers address a particular city's combination of interlinked challenges.
The invention of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology has facilitated the possibility of detecting buried utilities and has been used primarily in civil engineering for detecting structural defects, such as voids and cavities in road pavements, slabs and bridge decks, but has not been used to assess the condition of buried pipes. Pipe deterioration can be defined as pipes where, for example, cracking, differential deflection, missing bricks, collapses, holes, fractures and corrosion exists. Assessing the deterioration of underground pipes is important for service efficiency and asset management. This paper describes a research project that focused on the use of GPR for assessing the condition of buried pipes. The research involved the construction of a suitable GPR test facility in the laboratory to conduct controlled testing in a dry sand. Plastic pipes were chosen for the experiments. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the validity and effectiveness of standard commercially available GPR technology in assessing the condition of buried utilities with common types of damage. Several types of damage to the plastic pipe were investigated with respect to different GPR antenna frequencies. The GPR surveys were carried out in order to obtain signal signatures from damaged and undamaged pipes buried at 0.5m depth. These surveys were organised on a grid pattern across the surface of the sand in the test facility. The results presented in this paper show that GPR can identify certain types of damage associated with a buried pipe under these controlled laboratory conditions.
Electrokinetic Stabilisation Method of Soft Clay in Pure System using Electrokinetic Geosynthetic ElectrodePublished: 10 April 2018 by IOP Publishing in Journal of Physics: Conference Series
Electrokinetic stabilisation (EKS) method has the ability to solve the problems of soft highly compressibility soil. This study will present the results from an experimental study of EKS on soft soils using inactive kaolinite clay, inert electrode and distilled water (DW) as a pure system mechanism before any chemical stabilisers being used in this research. Therefore, this will provide a baseline study to improve the efficiency of EKS approach. The test model was using inert electrode of Electrokinetic Geosythentic (EKG) developed at the Newcastle University to apply a constant voltage gradient of 50 V/m across a soil sample approximately 400 mm. Distilled water was used at the pore electrolyte fluid compartments supplied under zero hydraulic gradient conditions for the periods of 3, 7 and 14 days. Throughout the monitoring, physical and chemical characteristics were measured. Results from the monitoring data, physical and chemical properties of the pure system showed the development of pH gradient, the changes of electrical conductivity and chemical concentrations with regards to the distance from anode and treatment periods due to the electrochemical effects even though there was no chemical stabilisers were introduced or released from the degradation of electrodes.
Dataset of the livability performance of the city of Birmingham, UK, as measured by its citizen wellbeing, resource secu...Published: 13 October 2017 by Elsevier BV in Data in Brief
This data article presents the UK City LIFE1 data set for the city of Birmingham, UK. UK City LIFE1 is a new, comprehensive and holistic method for measuring the livable sustainability performance of UK cities. The Birmingham data set comprises 346 indicators structured simultaneously (1) within a four-tier, outcome-based framework in order to aid in their interpretation (e.g., promote healthy living and healthy long lives, minimize energy use, uncouple economic vitality from CO2 emissions) and (2) thematically in order to complement government and disciplinary siloes (e.g., health, energy, economy, climate change). Birmingham data for the indicators are presented within an Excel spreadsheet with their type, units, geographic area, year, source, link to secondary data files, data collection method, data availability and any relevant calculations and notes. This paper provides a detailed description of UK city LIFE1 in order to enable comparable data sets to be produced for other UK cities. The Birmingham data set is made publically available at http://epapers.bham.ac.uk/3040/ to facilitate this and to enable further analyses. The UK City LIFE1 Birmingham data set has been used to understand what is known and what is not known about the livable sustainability performance of the city and to inform how Birmingham City Council can take action now to improve its understanding and its performance into the future (see “Improving city-scale measures of livable sustainability: A study of urban measurement and assessment through application to the city of Birmingham, UK” Leach et al. ).
Recently, much of the literature on sharing in cities has focused on the sharing economy, in which people use online platforms to share underutilized assets in the marketplace. This view of sharing is too narrow for cities, as it neglects the myriad of ways, reasons, and scales in which citizens share in urban environments. Research presented here by the Liveable Cities team in the form of participant workshops in Lancaster and Birmingham, UK, suggests that a broader approach to understanding sharing in cities is essential. The research also highlighted tools and methods that may be used to help to identify sharing in communities. The paper ends with advice to city stakeholders, such as policymakers, urban planners, and urban designers, who are considering how to enhance sustainability in cities through sharing.
We address the problem of accurately locating buried utility segments by fusing data from multiple sensors using a novel Marching-Cross-Section (MCS) algorithm. Five types of sensors are used in this work: Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Passive Magnetic Fields (PMF), Magnetic Gradiometer (MG), Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (LFEM) and Vibro-Acoustics (VA). As part of the MCS algorithm, a novel formulation of the extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is proposed for marching existing utility tracks from a scan cross-section (scs) to the next one; novel rules for initializing utilities based on hypothesized detections on the first scs and for associating predicted utility tracks with hypothesized detections in the following scss are introduced. Algorithms are proposed for generating virtual scan lines based on given hypothesized detections when different sensors do not share common scan lines, or when only the coordinates of the hypothesized detections are provided without any information of the actual survey scan lines. The performance of the proposed system is evaluated with both synthetic data and real data. The experimental results in this work demonstrate that the proposed MCS algorithm can locate multiple buried utility segments simultaneously, including both straight and curved utilities, and can separate intersecting segments. By using the probabilities of a hypothesized detection being a pipe or a cable together with its 3D coordinates, the MCS algorithm is able to discriminate a pipe and a cable close to each other. The MCS algorithm can be used for both post- and on-site processing. When it is used on site, the detected tracks on the current scs can help to determine the location and direction of the next scan line. The proposed “multi-utility multi-sensor” system has no limit to the number of buried utilities or the number of sensors, and the more sensor data used, the more buried utility segments can be detected with more accurate location and orientation.
Highlights•Current and future transformative UUS options for cities are discussed.•Implications for achieving more liveable cities are highlighted.•Recommendations for an integrated mapping framework are made. AbstractAs populations grow in dense urban city centres, so too does the demand for space and natural resources. An option to combat this problem, all too often, has been to build denser and taller buildings in addition to transporting an ever-increasing abundance of resources (e.g. raw materials, water, energy and food) into the city whilst moving waste back out. This has major implications for liveable cities (LC), which in future policy terms might be considered to include aspects of (i) wellbeing, (ii) resource security (i.e. ‘one planet’ living) and (iii) carbon reduction (now enshrined in international law). An option that has been overlooked, and one which could add significantly to this LC agenda, is wider adoption of urban underground space (UUS).This paper looks at how UUS has been, or could be, used within cities now, and in the future, and investigates the implications for achieving more liveable cities, which includes cognisance of the potential for radical transformation rather than adaption. It is concluded that wider adoption of UUS brings with it many benefits; however to avoid many of the dis-benefits an improved system of management, planning provision (which includes integrated mapping frameworks that consider more readily the future) and policy application is required.
Highlights•A sustainable underground use resilience evaluation (SUURE) framework is presented.•Geoscientific information is presented through fuzzy logic analysis using ARCGIS.•Quantification of spatial and temporal impacts of a Multi Utility Tunnel is assessed.•Flush-fitting MUT was found to be having the highest resilience index ratio (0.739). AbstractUrban sub-surface environments have consistently been used to house a wide variety of urban infrastructure, but often developed in a relatively haphazard way. An important aspect to overcome this is an enriched understanding of the current and potential future uses. Therein Geoscientific information should be considered indispensable, if this space is to be developed in a resilient and sustainable way. This will require a clear understanding of what is or could be located within underground space, together with its properties, in order to assess its true potential as an urban resource. This information will inform urban developmental choices allowing sustainable and resilient development of underground space use to take place regardless of what the future may hold. However, such information needs to be integrated into decision support systems for conventional types of underground construction, in order for any development to occur in a consistent and manageable way.This paper presents the development of a new sustainable underground use resilience evaluation (SUURE) framework that will allow the quantification of both spatial and temporal impacts of today’s underground urban (re)development solutions, in light of future economic, environmental and social changes. The framework uses a broad range of plausible, yet divergent future scenarios in order to ensure core objectives of sustainability and resilience are met. Within this paper it is used to evaluate the utilisation of Multi-Utility-Tunnels – MUT’s (i.e. flush-fitting, shallow and deep) in Birmingham Eastside, UK, as an alternative utility placement technique to traditional (open-cut) trenching. The flush-fitting MUT was found to be having the highest overall baseline (i.e. present-day) performance with a resilience index ratio of 0.739 (mean value), the shallow MUT came second at 0.656, and the deep MUT came last at 0.212.
Advancing City Sustainability via Its Systems of Flows: The Urban Metabolism of Birmingham and Its HinterlandPublished: 01 March 2016 by MDPI in Sustainability
Cities are dependent on their hinterlands for their function and survival. They provide resources such as people, materials, water, food and energy, as well as areas for waste disposal. Over the last 50 years, commerce and trade has become increasingly global with resources sourced from further afield often due to cheap labour costs, better transportation and a plentiful supply of energy and raw materials. However, the use and transportation of resources is becoming increasingly unsustainable as the global population increases, raw materials become increasing scarce, and energy costs rise. This paper builds on research undertaken in the Liveable Cities Programme on the resource flows of Birmingham, UK. It investigates how people, material, and food flows interact within regional, national, and international hinterlands through road and rail transportation and assesses their sustainability across all three pillars (economic, social, and environmental). The type and weight of goods is highlighted together with their costs and energy used. For a city to move with greatest effect towards sustainability it needs to: (i) source as much as it can locally, to minimise transportation and energy costs; (ii) adopt such principles as the “circular economy”; and (iii) provide clean and efficient means to move people, especially public transportation.
The challenge of feeding nine billion people by 2050, in a context of constrained resources and growing environmental pressures posed by current food production methods on one side, and changing lifestyles and consequent shifts in dietary patterns on the other, exacerbated by the effects of climate change, has been defined as one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. The first step to achieve food security is to find a balance between the growing demand for food, and the limited production capacity. In order to do this three main pathways have been identified: employing sustainable production methods in agriculture, changing diets, and reducing waste in all stages of the food chain. The application of an energy, water and food nexus (EWFN) approach, which takes into account the interactions and connections between these three resources, and the synergies and trade-offs that arise from the way they are managed, is a prerequisite for the correct application of these pathways. This work discusses how Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) might be applicable for creating the evidence-base to foster such desired shifts in food production and consumption patterns.
A Novel Methodology for the Application of Middle-Out, Model-Based Systems Engineering Techniques for City Waste Managem...Published: 29 October 2015 by Wiley in INCOSE International Symposium
A holistic approach to urban development is required to meet global sustainability goals. Part of the challenge involves finding an effective response to the increasing volumes of solid waste being generated in cities. The European Commission has developed a thematic strategy, and issued directives, on the prevention and recycling of waste. The United Kingdom has introduced legislation in line with these, and is working to develop its own waste management strategies against a very complex background. This paper describes a novel methodology for the application of middle-out, model-based systems engineering techniques to help with this, using the city of Birmingham in the United Kingdom as an example. The methodology creates repeatable and objective models of existing waste management systems and links them to city management accounts to provide a foundation for the design of new and improved systems and business models.
Tree planting is widely advocated and applied in urban areas, with large-scale projects underway in cities globally. Numerous potential benefits are used to justify these planting campaigns. However, reports of poor tree survival raise questions about the ability of such projects to deliver on their promises over the long-term. Each potential benefit requires different supporting conditions—relating not only to the type and placement of the tree, but also to the broader urban system within which it is embedded. This set of supporting conditions may not always be mutually compatible and may not persist for the lifetime of the tree. Here, we demonstrate a systems-based approach that makes these dependencies, synergies, and tensions more explicit, allowing them to be used to test the decadal-scale resilience of urban street trees. Our analysis highlights social, environmental, and economic assumptions that are implicit within planting projects; notably that high levels of maintenance and public support for urban street trees will persist throughout their natural lifespan, and that the surrounding built form will remain largely unchanged. Whilst the vulnerability of each benefit may be highly context specific, we identify approaches that address some typical weaknesses, making a functional, resilient, urban forest more attainable.
Well-functioning 'liveable' cities should be sustainable and their consumption of natural resources and production of waste must fit within the capacities of the local, regional and global ecosystems. It is increasingly becoming suggested that an Urban Metabolism (UM), approach could help city decision-makers (e.g. planners) take account of numerous critical influencing factors related to the inward outward flow(s) of natural resources (e.g. food, water and energy) and accumulation of waste. The paper identifies the precursory step for any UM study (Mass Flow Analysis - MFA) and applies it to a case study (Birmingham, UK) in order to show how it could contribute to the measurement, assessment and understanding of liveability, defined as 80% reduction in carbon (from 1990 levels); resource secure (an ethos of One planet living); with maintained or enhanced wellbeing. By provided focus upon an individual resource stream (i.e. water) at multiple scales (city to individual) it is shown that MFA can be used as a starting point to develop realistic and radical engineering solutions. However further work is required for it to be truly reflective of broader aspects of urban liveability.
Cities are contemporary metropolises that concentrate human and social activity; engineered to support and develop the physical environment and the people within it, Smart cities, we are led to believe, are the immediate future, where smartness is perceived as a characterisation of advancements or digitalisation, in government, mobility and sustainability. Therefore it is not surprising that many organisations are marketing their smart solutions and products, often to a ubiquitous extent and so called smart cities are striving to outperform each other. But how are smart cities actually being defined and how is performance being measured in an era where there is increasing access to unprecedented amounts of foreseen data? This paper identifies the plethora of the smart city definitions and categories evidenced from the literature and shows that 'Smart cities' lacks a robust coherent definition, with many contradicting facts within what constitutes a smart vision. Notably, almost every attempt from organisations, the European Union or cities themselves has failed to define 'smart' in objective terms that can be accepted globally. Certainly, they all are negotiating with a range of descriptors and smart ways to improve the city. Even the UK's attempts to develop a clear definition and set of standards for smart cities (i.e. PAS 180 and PAS 182) appears to suffer from fundamental differences in how the semantic content of a 'smart' city is defined. This paper demonstrates the necessity for a single 'Smart Cities' definition that deals with both the physical and digital using shared parameter value(s) that can be adopted and scaled amongst different localities and within a range of urban contexts adjusting according to existing city condition(s) and vision(s) setting the paradigm for further innovative research in this area.
The food/water/energy nexus is the study of the interactions and connections between these three resources, the synergies and tradeoffs that arise from the way they are managed, and the potential areas of conflict. The core of nexus thinking is that no good results can be achieved from considering these resources independently, which means that food security cannot be achieved in a context of either/both water or/and energy insecurity. All three elements have to be assured to foster sustainability, resilience, prosperity and peace. In this paper attention is focused on the challenges posed by this nexus on achieving food security, which is embodied in the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG), which seeks to halve the number of hungry people in the world between 1990 and 2015. The primary aim of the paper is to identify how the nexus mentality underlies most of the pathways that have been proposed to achieve this goal. It argues that significant shortfalls exist and need to be addressed: there is still no generally accepted definition, and identifiable metrics for assessing the extent to which a food system fosters food security are lacking. Such metrics are necessary when evaluating alternative strategies and negotiating trade-offs therein.
Rainwater Harvesting: Trade-offs Between Pluvial Flood Risk Alleviation and Mains Water Resource SavingsPublished: 31 October 2014 by MDPI AG in Proceedings of The 4th World Sustainability Forum
Stormwater run-off generally refers to pluvial, i.e. rainfall related, water that does not soak into the ground at the point at which it falls. The volume and timing of stormwater run-off, specifically from roof tops is highly important to urban flood control and its capture has the potential for non-potable uses within (e.g. for WC flushing and for washing machines) and outside the home (e.g. car washing and garden watering). The former runs a risk of flash floods where local and downstream stormwater (or combined sewer) systems become overburdened in times of extreme rainfall events. The later will influence potential future urban water supplies, which is particularly important at time(s) where mains water availability is scarce (e.g. times of drought or when the national demand for water in the UK increases beyond supply capabilities) population. Rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems can benefit flood risk and water supply however their ability to do either / both is dependent on the subtleties of filling and emptying (i.e. stored water volume or spare storage capacity) which are not fully understood, particularly in peak flow events. Through the use of five years worth of daily rainfall data for Birmingham (2007 - a record breaking year for UK flooding, to 2011) these subtleties are investigated through a sensitivity type analysis of tank size, occupancy rates and technology efficiency. The results show that RWH tanks sized according to BS8515 would not have been capable of capturing rainfall that fell in peak flow events. Moreover not all yearly non-potable demands would have been met. If tanks were over-sized by a factor of 3.0 (i.e. use the larger of 15% yearly non-potable demands or rainfall) this would have been sufficient to meet all demands and eliminate roof-top run-off.
The national demand for water in the UK is predicted to increase, exacerbated by a growing UK population, and home-grown demands for energy and food. When set against the context of overstretched existing supply sources vulnerable to droughts, particularly in increasingly dense city centres, the delicate balance of matching minimal demands with resource secure supplies becomes critical. When making changes to "internal" demands the role of technological efficiency and user behaviour cannot be ignored, yet existing benchmarking systems traditionally do not consider the latter. This paper investigates the practicalities of adopting a domestic benchmarking system (using a band rating) that allows individual users to assess their current water use performance against what is possible. The benchmarking system allows users to achieve higher benchmarks through any approach that reduces water consumption. The sensitivity of water use benchmarks are investigated by making changes to user behaviour and technology. The impact of adopting localised supplies (i.e., Rainwater harvesting—RWH and Grey water—GW) and including "external" gardening demands are investigated. This includes the impacts (in isolation and combination) of the following: occupancy rates (1 to 4); roof size (12.5 m2 to 100 m2); garden size (25 m2 to 100 m2) and geographical location (North West, Midlands and South East, UK) with yearly temporal effects (i.e., rainfall and temperature). Lessons learnt from analysis of the proposed benchmarking system are made throughout this paper, in particular its compatibility with the existing Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) accreditation system. Conclusions are subsequently drawn for the robustness of the proposed system.
The invention of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology has facilitated the possibility of detecting buried utilities and has been used primarily in civil engineering for detecting structural defects, such as voids and cavities in road pavements, slabs and bridge decks, but has not been used to assess the condition of buried pipes. Pipe deterioration can be defined as pipes where, for example, cracking, differential deflection, missing bricks, collapses, holes, fractures and corrosion exist. Assessing the deterioration of underground pipes is important for service efficiency and asset management. This paper describes a research project that focused on the use of GPR for assessing the condition of buried pipes. The research involved the construction of a suitable GPR test facility in the laboratory to conduct controlled testing in dry sand. Plastic pipes were chosen for the experiments. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the validity and effectiveness of standard commercially available GPR technology in assessing the condition of buried utilities with common types of damage. Several types of damage to the plastic pipe were investigated with respect to different GPR antenna frequencies. The GPR surveys were carried out in order to obtain signal signatures from damaged and undamaged pipes buried at 0.5 m depth. These surveys were organised on a grid pattern across the surface of the sand in the test facility. The results presented in this paper show that GPR can identify certain types of damage associated with a buried pipe under these controlled laboratory conditions.
This paper reviews the key issues relating to the increased future use of underground space where geoscientific information will be indispensable as a decision support tool for the sustainable development of underground space. A clear understanding of what is in the underground space (geology, utilities, etc.) and its properties are required to form a correct grasp of the potential assets and challenges of underground space as a resource. To inform urban developmental choices, regions having geological units that lend themselves to development or expansion of underground space use in the future will be given precedence over those with adverse geological conditions. Such information needs to be included into decision support systems for conventional types of underground construction. This paper establishes that a strong need exists to adopt computational visualization approaches in the form of GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA). These provide a platform to enable the testing of underground space through a virtual experimental set-up of different uses, using a broad range of different yet divergent future scenarios to ensure that the core objectives of sustainable development are met.
Due to the adoption of short-term planning cycles and the requirement for lowest initial construction costs, the conventional method for utility installation and maintenance in the UK is via open-cut. When taking a long-term sustainability perspective there is a growing body of evidence which indicates that this method is socially disruptive, environmentally damaging and significantly more expensive, i.e. unsustainable. One long-term solution to this problem could be the adoption of Multi-Utility Tunnels (MUTs); a tunnel that co-locates more than one utility underground facilitating their subsequent repair and renewal while eliminating the need for continuous surface excavation. Unfortunately considerably higher short-term direct costs remain a significant barrier to adoption of MUTs. However, there is a lack of research to show where the economic tipping point between the two methods occurs and how it might be influenced by utility type, pipe number (i.e. density), pipe diameter, number of excavation and reinstatement (E&R) procedures avoided, location (i.e. undeveloped, suburban and urban areas), and the choice of MUT being adopted (i.e. flush-fitting, shallow and deep). This paper aims to fulfil this research need by investigating the effect of these influences on the economic viability of various types of MUTs. The results indicate that MUTs can provide a more economically sustainable method of utility placement in all three local contexts, with the tipping points occurring where street works are likely more frequent and/or where utility density is high.
The traditional water supply management approach focuses on (perceived) community requirements that must be met, but not on community demands, which are variable. Therefore a paradigm-shift is required to the way water is considered. In this paper the impact of two distinct approaches for managing the urban water demand, thus daily water consumption, within residential and office buildings are examined through a futures framework. The two fundamental management measures to influence water demand are: 1) structural and technical measures (via adopting water-saving devices); and 2) socio-political measure (via changing users’ behaviour). Both align well with UK policy drivers and results show each in isolation has similar impacts (i.e. 55% reduction) on domestic water consumption per capita, although the ranges over which user behaviour can operate appears to be far more diverse. Most strikingly, when these measures are considered in combination greater impact (i.e. 80% reduction) could be achieved. Conclusions are drawn as to how far water demand management, through a dual track approach, can go in terms of reducing indoor water consumption of both residential and office users and discusses what else is needed in this respect to help contribute to securing sufficient, sustainable supplies within a ‘liveable’ future.
The national demand for water in the UK is predicted to increase, exacerbated by a growing UK population, and home-grown demands for energy and food. When set against the context of overstretched existing supply sources vulnerable to droughts, particularly in the SE of the UK, the delicate balance of matching minimal demands with resource secure supplies becomes critical. Whilst demands can be decreased through changes in user behaviour and adoption of technological efficiency and supplies can be supplemented with additional local sources (e.g. rainwater harvesting – RWH and greywater – GW), careful consideration of future water use performance, particularly in increasingly dense city centres needs to be considered. For this purpose indicators and benchmarks are particularly useful, although any system, once adopted, must be robust and fully understood in terms of its sensitivity to future changes. This paper presents a new benchmarking system for measuring the water using performance of domestic dwellings and considers the impact(s) therein when making changes to ‘internal’ demands either through technological efficiency or user behaviour alone. The sensitivity of water performance is then tested further when combining these changes with additional localised supplies (i.e. RWH and GW) and ‘external’ gardening demands. Therein the impacts (in isolation and combination) of the following are considered: occupancy rates (1 to 4); roof size (12.5 m<sup>2</sup> to 100m<sup>2</sup>); garden size (25 m<sup>2</sup> to 100m<sup>2</sup>); geographical location (NW, Midlands, SE) and yearly temporal effects. Lessons learnt from analysis of the proposed benchmarking system are made throughout this paper, in particular its compatibility with the existing code for sustainable homes accreditation system. Conclusions are subsequently drawn for the robustness of the proposed system.
The water industry is becoming increasingly aware of the risks associated with urban supplies not meeting demands by 2050. Greywater (GW) recycling for non-potable uses (e.g., urinal and toilet flushing) provides an urban water management strategy to help alleviate this risk by reducing main water demands. This paper proposes an innovative cross connected system that collects GW from residential buildings and recycles it for toilet/urinal flushing in both residential and office buildings. The capital cost (CAPEX), operational cost (OPEX) and water saving potential are calculated for individual and shared residential and office buildings in an urban mixed-use regeneration area in the UK, assuming two different treatment processes; a membrane bioreactor (MBR) and a vertical flow constructed wetland (VFCW). The Net Present Value (NPV) method was used to compare the financial performance of each considered scenario, from where it was found that a shared GW recycling system (MBR) was the most economically viable option. The sensitivity of this financial model was assessed, considering four parameters (i.e., water supply and sewerage charges, discount rate(s), service life and improved technological efficiency, e.g., low flush toilets, low shower heads, etc.), from where it was found that shared GW systems performed best in the long-term.
This paper describes research into the effects of corroding cast iron pipes on the properties of surrounding clay soil. Accelerated corrosion tests, employing electrokinetics to simulate the galvanic cell that is set up naturally when cast iron comes into contact with clay, have shown that the chemical changes (e.g. pH) are more marked than for cases in which inert electrodes were used. These chemical changes result in both cast iron and clay mineral dissolution, ion migration and the precipitation of reaction products close to and - to a lesser degree - away from the pipe wall. The paper describes a laboratory study of the effects on a pure form of kaolinite after different lengths of electrokinetic treatment and draws conclusions on the potential effects that are likely to be found for old cast iron pipes in clays.
Streetworks to repair buried pipes and cables use many different technologies and working methods. These are usually determined by the dual pressures of time, and economic costs. However, many other constraints should be imposed by the need to minimise both environmental costs and social costs, as these drivers, taken together, cover a range of other impacts. Given that the boundaries between the different categories of costs are often blurred, and different stakeholders hold different views on what to account for, the calculation is complex. This review paper focuses on the drivers for, and barriers to, the delivery of a balanced solution in the UK, and explores whether currently available methodologies are able effectively to assess different solutions to this complex problem. Following a review of the full range of potential impacts caused by streetworks in the UK, it concludes that a bespoke assessment framework needs to be developed for streetworks – application of general frameworks will not serve adequately.
Future scenarios provide challenging, plausible and relevant stories about how the future could unfold. Urban Futures (UF) research has identified a substantial set (>450) of seemingly disparate scenarios published over the period 1997–2011 and within this research, a sub-set of >160 scenarios has been identified (and categorized) based on their narratives according to the structure first proposed by the Global Scenario Group (GSG) in 1997; three world types (Business as Usual, Barbarization, and Great Transitions) and six scenarios, two for each world type (Policy Reform—PR, Market Forces—MF, Breakdown—B, Fortress World—FW, Eco-Communalism—EC and New Sustainability Paradigm—NSP). It is suggested that four of these scenario archetypes (MF, PR, NSP and FW) are sufficiently distinct to facilitate active stakeholder engagement in futures thinking. Moreover they are accompanied by a well-established, internally consistent set of narratives that provide a deeper understanding of the key fundamental drivers (e.g., STEEP—Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental and Political) that could bring about realistic world changes through a push or a pull effect. This is testament to the original concept of the GSG scenarios and their development and refinement over a 16 year period.
University campuses, as owners and operators of their utility infrastructure, have generally taken a longer-term view of how utility infrastructure assets are placed below ground and therefore have a much greater appreciation for how such novel placement methods as Multi-Utility Tunnels (MUTs), a tunnel that houses more than one utility type, perform in the longer term (>50 yrs). This paper provides details of a 3 km MUT network built in the late 1950s and early 1960s that is currently undergoing considerable repair, refurbishment, modification and expansion to meet the demands of a 21st Century university campus. The paper discusses the sustainable advantages of adopting an MUT within a university campus providing lessons learned.
The surface urban transport infrastructures, which are interpreted widely herein to encompass roads, cycle ways, pedestrian areas and railway foundations, are supported by the ground and hence their structural performance is inevitably to some degree controlled by the ground. Since the utility services infrastructure that supports city living is typically buried beneath the surface transport infrastructure, street works activities to install, replace, repair or maintain the utility infrastructure using traditional techniques disrupts, and often significantly damages, the transport infrastructure and the ground on which it bears. As a consequence of this latter argument, the ground and the associated physical infrastructure, whether buried utility service infrastructure or the surface transport infrastructure, exist according to a symbiotic relationship: intervene physically in one and the other is almost inevitably affected in some way, whether immediately or in the future. The physical condition of these assets is therefore of crucial importance in determining what, and how severe, the inevitable impact on each other will be, and the close link between them (i.e. that they are both intimately linked to and to some degree controlled by the ground) must be carefully considered. This paper proposes and discusses the establishment of a universal platform in which the physical infrastructure and the ground, and their conditions, can be mapped.
Trenchless technologies (TT), unlike open cut trenching, offer the potential to install, maintain and refurbish buried utilities without the need to close long stretches of carriageway. Recent studies indicate that carbon emissions associated with trenchless installations are far smaller, and trenchless installations are more sustainable, than trenching. Yet utility companies, and their contractors, routinely shun trenchless technologies due to the perceived risk of damaging previously undetected third party assets. Mapping the Underworld (MTU) seeks to create a multi-sensor tool, and a new philosophical approach to underground mapping, to mitigate such risks and facilitate the routine adoption of TT. The novel approach is now being developed through the proof of concept stage towards field trials and the results of these proving trials form the basis of this paper. Moreover such street works, like all construction, repair, renewal and maintenance projects, must be reviewed in terms of a sustainability assessment framework to explore their real costs and benefits to the society on behalf of which, as ultimate `users' of the facilities, the works are being carried out. This paper seeks to integrate the findings of a highly multi-disciplinary technology-based project with a wider research programme on the context of effective and efficient working in the streets. The lessons drawn from this programme of research extend to all aspects of pipeline engineering.
Assessing the sustainability of underground space usage — A toolkit for testing possible urban futuresPublished: 31 March 2011 by Springer Nature in Journal of Mountain Science
A description of the future as it might be without forecasts, predictions and trend analysis can be referred to as a ‘sfuture scenario’. An abundance of scenarios literature exists in which numerous pictures have been painted of changed future worlds. However, upon closer inspection it becomes apparent that virtually all of this literature refers to changes occurring above ground, ignoring the inevitable consequences (or opportunities) for sustainable use of underground space, not least in densely populated urban areas, some of which may be underlain by complex geological conditions. This paper reports on the development (to date) of an ‘Urban Futures’ (UF) toolkit for sub-surface environments (including infrastructure and utilities) which, through use of ‘key’ questions ‘sustainable’ indicators and a ‘contextual’ narrative, allows for better definition and measured performance of underground space in the UK, both today and in the future. The toolkit explores possible uses for underground space within 4 plausible and well-cited future scenarios (i.e. New Sustainability Paradigm, Fortress World, Market Forces and Policy Reform). This forms part of a much larger generic toolkit which the UF research team are developing for exploring possible future scenarios over a range of UK urban regeneration case study areas.
In the UK there is a huge legacy of buried utility service pipelines and cables beneath our streets and new services, such as fibre optic cables, are being added all the time. Much of this utility network is poorly mapped and recorded. It is therefore important to accurately locate and map these services to aid the installation of new, and repair and maintenance of existing, assets. This will help avoid damage to adjacent services and reduce the direct and social costs associated with finding buried utilities. This paper describes two major UK initiativesMapping the Underworld (MTU) and Gravity Gradient Technologies and Opportunities Programme (GG-TOP)that aim to improve the way that we locate, map, and share information on buried utility services. MTU aims to develop a multisensor device to locate buried services, while GG-TOP aims to develop gravity gradient technology to deliver a (three orders of magnitude) step change in performance.
Knowledge of the geotechnical properties of soils when engineering shallow underground spaces is of obvious importance, as it provides information, for instance, on the susceptibility of their strength to water content changes. It also indicates the degree to which they are likely to shrink or swell with variations in water content, and so whether later displacement of buried infrastructure may occur. Trenchless installations, however, are often undertaken without full knowledge of obstructions and ground conditions along their route, and so increasingly rely on electromagnetic geophysical methods to ‘see’ into the ground. Interpretation of such geophysical data requires full knowledge of the electromagnetic properties of materials, particularly for fine-grained soils. It is less widely appreciated, however, that these electromagnetic properties can be directly related to geotechnical properties, and so additional data could be obtained from geophysical surveys in terms of potential ground conditions and their variations over long installation lengths. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to consider links between these two sets of soil properties as a pre-cursor to investigating the properties of individual soils. The Liquid Limit was considered an important water content at which to test the electromagnetic properties of fine-grained soils, as it provides an immediate opportunity to determine whether any related geophysical correlations exist between soils. In the study described herein the apparent permittivity of a number of fine-grained soils was measured at the Liquid Limit and it was found that at higher frequencies, ca. 1 GHz, good correlation exists between the two. However, at lower frequencies this relationship was not apparent due to significant variations in electromagnetic dispersion. By considering the differences between high and low frequency data to be based on differences in inter-sheet and inter-particle water, however, this discrepancy is explained. It is therefore concluded that, under laboratory conditions, the frequency-dependent nature of apparent permittivity in fine-grained soils can be explained, and even predicted, using the Liquid Limit of a soil, its dry density, and the percentage linear shrinkage it exhibits.
Electromagnetic properties of the ground: Part II – The properties of two selected fine-grained soilsPublished: 01 December 2010 by Elsevier BV in Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology
In Part I of this paper it was established that electromagnetic signal velocities, for instance as used in ground penetrating radar use, are related to the geotechnical properties of Liquid Limit, dry density and percentage linear shrinkage. It was thus established that such geophysical techniques potentially provide an insight into the geotechnical properties of fine-grained soils, as well as illustrating the equal potential of informing radar survey planning and data interpretation through prediction of soil geophysical properties from geotechnical data. In order to extend that research, the work described herein aimed to consider how signal velocities relate to the wide variations in water contents that may occur for a soil in the field, from oven dry to more than 90% by volume. Through the use of time-domain and frequency-domain measurement techniques, data were obtained that allow consideration of soil effects on commercial water content measurement systems and radar equipment. Potentially the most important outcome is that the data indicate that the three geotechnical states (friable, plastic and liquid) give rise to three different signal velocity/water content relationships. In the friable state, the relationship shows large increases in apparent permittivity (as a proxy for signal velocity) with water content, together with increasing electromagnetic dispersion (i.e. variations in velocity with frequency). In the more common plastic state, often not fully considered in the literature, apparent permittivity is shown to increase almost linearly with water content at high frequencies, but in fact can decrease at lower frequencies. This anomaly is explained by the reduction in electromagnetic dispersion caused by reducing dry density. For the liquid state, the relationships are shown to be similar to the plastic state, but with a step increase in apparent permittivity potentially related to soil pore sizes exceeding a critical limit. It is also shown that the plastic and liquid state linear relationships are related to similar trends in the apparent permittivity of the water phase. It is concluded that, when considered over very wide water content and signal frequency ranges, the electromagnetic properties of soils are complex but can be related to geotechnical states and properties. It is, therefore, proposed that the research detailed herein provides a useful initial step in the creation of an electromagnetic properties database of relevance to underground space development.
Numerical simulation of the creation and performance of extruded concrete linings in microtunnellingPublished: 01 December 2010 by Elsevier BV in Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology
The research community’s approach to buried infrastructure challenges and creating trenchless technology solutionsPublished: 01 December 2010 by Elsevier BV in Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Preview this article: Pull-in force predictions for horizontal directional drilling, Page 1 of 2 < Previous page | Next page > /docserver/preview/fulltext/geng163-197-1.gif /docserver/preview/fulltext/geng163-197-2.gif Horizontal directional drilling is a ‘trenchless technology' that has been used successfully to install pipelines with minimal surface disruption. It has been developed to such an extent that pipelines 2·5 km long and with diameters approaching 2000 mm have been installed, and it has the potential to install pipelines over even greater distances. A study has been undertaken to investigate the use of horizontal directional drilling to create conduits capable of housing electrical cables over long distances (arbitrarily taken as 10 km). This paper presents the results of an investigation into the pull-in forces associated with long-distance horizontal directional drilling installations with different pipe diameters using the Pipe-force 2005 model. The outcomes of the study suggest that if the creation of the borepath can be controlled adequately, then it is theoretically conceivable that pipes of 600 mm diameter could be installed over the maximum distance considered in this project using conventional drilling rigs. However, if the borepath deviates from the desired line and level, or partial borehole collapse occurs, the pull-in force required to install the pipe would increase to a level that would jeopardise installation with currently available equipment. DOI: 10.1680/geng.2009.163.4.197 ISSN: 1353-2618 E-ISSN: 1751-8563 Document Type: Research Article Format: PDF,HTML Keywords: drilling & drillholes; mathematical modelling; research & development
Despite the wide usage and popular appeal of the concept of sustainability in UK policy, it does not appear to have challenged the status quo in urban regeneration because policy is not leading in its conceptualisation and therefore implementation. This paper investigates how sustainability has been conceptualised in a case-based research study of the regeneration of Eastside in Birmingham, UK, through policy and other documents, and finds that conceptualisations of sustainability are fundamentally limited. The conceptualisation of sustainability operating within urban regeneration schemes should powerfully shape how they make manifest (or do not) the principles of sustainable development. Documents guide, but people implement regeneration— and the disparate conceptualisations of stakeholders demonstrate even less coherence than policy. The actions towards achieving sustainability have become a policy ‘fix’ in Eastside: a necessary feature of urban policy discourse that is limited to solutions within market-based constraints.
Many studies into the use of GPR to detect targets assume that the targets are ideal reflectors. In reality most targets have been in the ground for many years and have settled and suffered some contamination or corrosion. Iron pipe in particular can be hard to find with GPR. Some possible corrosion processes suggest that a varying conductivity and permittivity profile may be established around a pipe. The consequences of such corrosion induced profiles are that the radar return may be greatly diminished in the classic look-down GPR mode of operation. The analysis shows that the novel look through GPR mode of operation is affected far less by the corrosion induced profiles.
Workshops were held at the GPR08 and IWAGPR09 conferences with the intention of developing closer links between GPR users and soil spectroscopy researchers, including developing an improved understanding of the associated research needs. Both workshops were well attended and provided a useful forum that identified elements central to greater interchange of information between the two disciplines. This paper will detail the outcomes of the IWAGPR09 workshop (the GPR08 workshop having been reported on there), providing full information on the perspectives of relevant stakeholders. Included will be details of invited presentation, panel discussion and general discussion sessions. Also, full details of the outcomes of the associated questionnaire, which sought to prioritise the main concerns of stakeholders identified at the GPR08 workshop, will be provided. In conclusion, this paper will consider ways in which those concerns can be addressed, including in terms of standardisation, delivery of research needs, and data sharing. In so doing, the paper is intended to provide GPR and soil spectroscopy stakeholders with an ongoing record of their workshops in order to facilitate debate, discussion and future action.
Electrokinetic (EK) dewatering involves the application of a (direct current) voltage across sewage sludge, driving water under an electrical gradient from the positive electrode (anode) to the negative electrode (cathode). Researchers have shown the technique to be efficient means of driving off water from the sludge, thus improving strength and reducing volume. This paper presents an integrating framework for EK dewatering under constant voltage and constant current conditions, founded on the mathematics of simple electrical circuits and demonstrated by laboratory experimentation. The derived equations and experimental results showed that electroosmotic flow rate decreases with time when dewatering with constant voltage and is constant when constant current conditions are maintained. Having a linear relationship between flow and time, EK dewatering with constant current not only enhances the sludge dewatering efficiency, but also has the advantage of simplifying design procedures.
The physico-chemical changes in clay soils due to the application of electrokinetics are difficult to predict with accuracy because of the very wide range of parameters interacting. The effects of the application of an electrical gradient across controlled specimens of a pure form of kaolinite using stainless steel electrodes and a deionised water feed to the electrodes, to mimic electrokinetic stabilisation without the stabiliser added, are reported. The specimens in which electrical and chemical changes were induced over different time periods (3, 7, 14 and 28 days) were subsequently tested for Atterberg limits, undrained shear strength, water content, pH, conductivity, Fe concentration and zeta potential. Changes in strength and plasticity indices were attributed to electrolysis, electro-osmosis, electrode degradation, clay mineral dissolution, ion movement due to electromigration, cation exchange reactions and precipitation of reaction products.
Laboratory experiments are described that investigate the potential for using electrokinetic geosynthetics (EKGs) [materials that permit the combined exploitation of geosynthetics with electrokinetics (EKs)] to dewater slurry waste from a tunneling operation. The results demonstrate that the EK is reproducible for different slurries and that the process can significantly dewater tunneling slurry wastes. Higher electrode element surface area, increased potential gradient, and longer processing time increase water removal from a slurry waste. Higher potential gradients and current densities were found to consume more energy, with thicker samples (lower voltage gradients) and close element spacing using less power to achieve a particular dewatering efficiency than other configurations tested. The resultant pH of the treated slurry and the effluent water were found not to be sufficiently altered by the EK process to prevent their safe disposal or reuse. The potential of three different forms of EKG to treat tunneling slurry are discussed and a conceptual scheme for an EK enhanced belt press is proposed. While further investigation would be required to optimize their operating parameters, preliminary designs, and cost estimates can be based on the results presented herein.
This paper discusses the findings of a project funded by the U.S. Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) to assess the potential for technical innovations in locating utilities, record keeping and marking of utilities and determining the operating characteristics and condition of a utility. The SHRP 2 program of the U.S. Transportation Research Board has been funded by congress to provide a targeted, short-term research program addressing key issues in highway transportation. The overall goal of the Highway Renewal program is to develop a consistent, systematic approach to performing highway renewal that is rapid, causes minimum disruption, and produces long-lived facilities. One of the important thrust areas of the SHRP 2 program concerns the impact of utility issues on highway renewal projects and several aspects of this issue are being studied.