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Atelier CPU[AI] 2021 - An Urban Research Document


The climate emergency is at the forefront of conversations in our industries today. Architecture is particularly affected and directed by changes in the climate, and how governments all over the world choose to response to these changes. In the U.K, measures to tackle climate change have already been undertaken at a country scale, such as the gradual increase in renewable energy generation to power the grid. However, there is still a long way to go, which is where the concept of Zero Carbon Cities comes in.


Manchester City Council have set themselves a goal to be a Net Zero Carbon City by 2038. This is incredibly ambitious but will ultimately have a great impact in terms of carbon consumption and emission reduction. In order to achieve this goal, there needs to be significant changes made to both current and future developments in Manchester.


We as an atelier year group were given the opportunity to collaborate with Manchester City Council and FEC (The Far East Consortium) by researching and subsequently proposing Zero Carbon City initiatives that could be viable for Manchester. This process involved conducting research in order to create a comprehensive overview of potential strategies and considerations to be aware of when aiming to achieve Zero Carbon. The research was conducted collectively, while dividing into smaller groups to focus in on eleven specific topics that all relate to Zero Carbon Cities, such as energy consumption and green spaces. Focusing in on key topics ensured that a variety were covered, and allowed us to go into a more detailed study for each, including using mathematical calculations and extrapolations to conclude the viability of relevant Zero Carbon initiatives.


Our atelier year group then had a meeting with Manchester City Council members, where each group presented their topic of focus to council members and FEC. This gave all students an opportunity for feedback on the research and to collaborate with a range of people including those specialising in sectors such as transport and smart cities. Because of the collaborative nature of the research between student groups, the council, and FEC, the final document covers a range of helpful approaches for achieving a Zero Carbon City all while positioning these findings within the scope of the city of Manchester.


It is our hope that this research will be a useful point of reference in relation to Zero Carbon development. The findings in this document have also informed the second stage of our 6th year thesis projects, which aims to aide the design of a Zero Carbon City using methods discovered during this research.

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