Climate Plan – Living Labs: Solutions for a Sustainable Future

Sustainability Manager Thom Cooper and the School of Geography’s Dr Megan Klaar discuss the University’s innovative Living Labs which tackle critical real-world problems such as climate change.

The University has created Living Labs on campus, across the city and in the local area to test sustainable solutions to local, national, and global issues including agriculture and climate change. They bring together academics, local partners, and students to address these pertinent issues through research and collaboration.  
At Bodington Fields, researchers are working on ways to implement natural flood defences, such as leaky wood dams, a balancing pond and wetland scrapes, and new trees as part of the Bodington Fields Natural Flood Management Project.  
Dr Klaar said “Without reversing climate change, more extreme weather and flooding is expected, so we must find new ways to strengthen our resilience while encouraging nature and biodiversity to flourish. At Leeds we have the expertise and the passion to do this.”  
For another project at Gair Wood in North Leeds, over 60,000 new trees have been planted. 
Sustainability Manager Thom Cooper said that this will “provide new outdoor learning and research opportunities to test the impact of woodland creation projects on things like biodiversity, air quality and carbon capture as well as providing, in time, public space for future generations to enjoy.”  

Watch them discuss all this and more in this video
At £174 million, the University of Leeds’ ambitious Climate Plan represents the biggest investment we have ever made, with seven key principles highlighting our commitment to net zero emissions, a sustainable curriculum, responsible investment and reorienting postgraduate research and teaching away from the fossil fuel sector. 

Visit our Climate Plan hub for more information, where you can also post questions and comments. 

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