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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W033933/1
Title: Infrastructure for Port And Coastal cities and Towns network (iPACT)
Principal Investigator: Powrie, Professor W
Other Investigators:
Nicholls, Professor RJ Cruickshank, Professor L Lunn, Professor RJ
Mariotti, Dr J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Coastal Partnership East Eden Trust Lancaster City Council
Southampton City Council UK Coll for Res in Infra & Cities UKCRIC
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Network
Starts: 01 March 2022 Ends: 31 August 2024 Value (£): 938,915
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Dec 2021 Sustainable Urban Systems and Infrastructure Network Plus Expert Panel Announced
18 Jan 2022 Sustainable Urban Systems and Infrastructure Network Plus Interview Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Despite the potential benefits of a location on the coast, many port and coastal towns and cities are run-down and unattractive, and underperform in economic and social wellbeing terms. This is often a result of a poor built environment, derelict industrial and other legacy sites, and a lack of meaningful connectivity between the urban realm, green spaces and the waterfront. Rising sea levels and coastal erosion pose further, existential, threats. These issues are common to port and coastal cities and towns all around the UK, hence transcend simplistic north/south or east/west categorisation or division. Addressing them through effective, sustainable and resilient regeneration is essential to the UK Government's Net Zero and Levelling Up agenda.

Our Network+ will use concepts developed by UKCRIC on Flourishing Systems. We will take a systems-based, people-focussed view of infrastructure; keeping people at the centre of the vision, considering infrastructure as a way of connecting together interdependent systems, which must be designed to be sustainable, inclusive, secure and resilient. The complexity of the component systems, and the heterogeneity of drivers and foci, makes it difficult to optimise the infrastructure system of systems, even generally, towards a better future.

We will adopt the Line of Sight approach, which involves actively facilitating different communities (people, experts, authorities, government, investors) to understand their current and potential priorities and roles; then to explore and develop synergies focused on new, common objectives along aligned lines of sight.

The activities of the Network+ will be organised through five interdependent strands:

1. Celebrating the major asset: connecting the town/city with the waterfront, balancing the needs of a functional waterfront with ambience, public accessibility, leisure and heritage

2. Inclusive infrastructure: engaging with communities, policymakers, the public sector and business to ensure effective infrastructure development and use

3. Maintaining and enhancing resilience: making port and coastal city and town regeneration resilient to climate change, sea-level rise, coastal erosion and flooding

4. Coastal region transport: addressing issues associated with the particular challenges of transport to/from and within port and coastal cities and towns arising from linear development along the coast or estuary, a current or former working waterfront, and the absence of up to half the hinterland

5. Nature inspired, human scale engineering: including greening the grey infrastructure, to provide/enhance social value for the surrounding communities

Extensive use will be made of testbed sites, with three having been selected as typifying a range of UK port and coastal city and town regeneration needs and issues. These are the port city of Southampton, Lancaster and Morecambe, and North Norfolk seaside towns including Cromer and Sheringham.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk