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Sustainable Consumption Institute

Understanding, modelling and visualizing regeneration and change

Industrial and urban regeneration policies often contain a heavy focus on promoting growth.

That growth will be defined in an overly simplistic, static or short-term way if the policy makers do not consider that industries and industrial regions are complex adaptive systems, much like any natural ecosystem.

Our aims

Digger at a rubbish tip, surrounded by seagulls.

Complex industrial ecosystems may not respond well to growth-centric policies designed for simple systems, so this project explores how the complexity and dynamics of industrial ecosystems can be understood and embraced in order to create industrial and urban regeneration policies that promoting long-term resilience.

Such policies would see change as inevitable, and as an opportunity for healthy and industries or industrial regions to adapt in many ways. These include innovation and growth in new areas while former growth areas adapt in other ways.

This project includes a series of case studies targeting industrialised regions such as Greater Manchester and Sheffield, each comprising:

  • a novel graph model of events and event sequences
  • interviews
  • literature analysis
  • news archive analysis.

The project also includes a series of agent-based models to test the insights from the case studies and to turn them into policy recommendations on how industries and regions could encourage healthy and resilient ecosystems.

The project will conclude with a series of workshops to deliver the insights and conclusions gained through the case studies and models.

Project leaders