Built for living

Built for living: understanding behaviour and the built environment through engineering and design, was published in July 2015 by the Academy with Arup and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It follows three workshops held at RIBA, Arup and the Academy that explored the relationships between design, engineering and human behaviour. Three areas where the interplay between people and the built environment is key were explored:

  • The use of resources, particularly energy and water, and the production of waste
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Productivity and performance

The report presents case study examples and a set of design principles to help stakeholders consider key behavioural issues when designing and engineering the built environment. Recommendations are made to built environment stakeholders, research funding bodies and policymakers. In particular, the report recommends that built environment policies take account of behavioural issues, and emphasises the need for an integrated policy approach that considers interdependencies between different interventions.

Built for living: understanding behaviour and the built environment through engineering and design (3.48 MB)


Future cities

In 2014, the Academy held a workshop exploring how cities function as a system of interdependent sectors and stakeholders. An online interactive tool explains this system and three case studies show examples of different organisations innovating together in partnership to enact change.

Navigating the city’s ecosystem of organisations


Transport congestion

Transport congestion is the subject of the Academy’s first ‘challenge paper’, a discussion document authored by expert Fellows with the aim of stimulating debate on an issue of national concern.

The paper addresses the growing problem of congestion on the UK’s road and rail networks and assesses the technical practicality of various measures to get more out of them, either to buy time before new infrastructure can be delivered or as the most effective means optimising existing capacity.

It recommends that government should develop an integrated strategy for tackling road and rail congestion and that such a strategy must maximise the impact of any measure by carefully packaging different technologies and policy measures together. It also finds that, of all the available interventions considered, efficient pricing on the road network offers the single best way of tackling congestion. The paper recognises that this is not currently popular with either politicians or the public, but that a well-designed system could attract popular support and achieve substantial reduction in levels of congestion. 

The Transport Congestion Challenge (5.25 MB)