Threats to our environment from human overuse or misuse of the world’s resources have made the search for sustainability arguably the most vital challenge of the modern era.
Newcastle University has designated 2011 its Year of Sustainability, tackling the second of its three world-changing themes. A series of conferences and events will raise our national and international profile in research and teaching related to sustainability, stimulate intellectual debate around the issues, encourage new research and raise awareness of our staff, students, stakeholders and the wider civil society in all areas of sustainability.
In 2010 the influential think-tank Forum for the Future ranked Newcastle as the most sustainable of the UK’s twenty largest cities for the second year. To consolidate progress towards sustainability throughout the conurbation, Newcastle University is now working more closely than ever with our civic partners in the local authorities and beyond. The University has recently established the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS). This dynamic new institute intends to make an 'urban laboratory' of all of NewcastleGateshead. But it doesn’t stop there: our ambition is that the NIReS will become the leading centre of expertise in the art and science of securing ‘ enough, for all, forever.’
Newcastle University has world-class strength across many of the most crucial arenas in which the struggle for sustainability will be played out. The ten themes of NIReS are: Energy, Marine, Clean Products and Processes, Transport, Urban Environments, Water, Food Security and the Rural Environment, Natural Environment, Justice and Governance, Health and Environment.
To underpin this work, we are setting up a Sustainability Fund to support civic engagements around the sustainability theme.