Technology and infrastructure systems can both contribute to and alleviate environmental harms and socio-political inequities. To enable sustainable development, evidence-based and community engaged science and technology policy is needed to promote sustainable innovation, and manage the risks of emerging and established technologies and infrastructures.
IRES Researchers explore how technology and innovation can be used to improve or exacerbate environmental and social stressors, while also conducting research that supports policy, planning, and decision-making about infrastructure and development. From critical consideration of novel genetic technologies to the water crises affecting impoverished and racialized populations, we pay particular attention to the distribution of risks and benefits.
How can we encourage shared mobility options?
IRES researchers explore bridges and barriers to giving up vehicle ownership in favour of shared mobility options.
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How can we design a process for building better multifamily residential buildings that both mitigate and adapt to climate change?
This project, conducted in partnership with BC Housing, aims to develop a framework that integrates climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies for urban multifamily residential buildings, to minimize risks, optimize benefits and improve liveability. The project is developing an integrated tool to help decision-makers systematically consider mitigation and adaptation synergies, conflicts, trade-offs, and opportunities in building design solutions.
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How are gene edited crops perceived by the public? What policies are in place to regulate gene editing?
IRES Researchers strive to understand how innovations in genomic technologies can impact society, how they are perceived, as well as exploring regulatory systems in both developing and developed countries.
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- Harris, L. M., Kleiber, D., Rodina, L., Yaylaci, S., Goldin, J., & Owen, G. (2018). Water materialities and citizen engagement: Testing the implications of water access and quality for community engagement in Ghana and South Africa. Society & Natural Resources, 31(1), 89-105.
- Giang, A., Stokes, L. C., Streets, D. G., Corbitt, E. S., & Selin, N. E. (2015). Impacts of the minamata convention on mercury emissions and global deposition from coal-fired power generation in Asia. Environmental science & technology, 49(9), 5326-5335.
- Öberg, G., Merlinsky, M. G., LaValle, A., Morales, M., & Tobias, M. M. (2014). The notion of sewage as waste: a study of infrastructure change and institutional inertia in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Vancouver, Canada. Ecology and Society, 19(2).
- Strachan N., Zerriffi H., Dowlatabadi H. (2003) System Implications of Distributed Generation. In: Thissen W.A.H., Herder P.M. (eds) Critical Infrastructures State of the Art in Research and Application. International Series in Operations Research & Management Science, vol 65. Springer, Boston, MA
- Donner, S. D., Kandlikar, M., & Webber, S. (2016). Measuring and tracking the flow of climate change adaptation aid to the developing world. Environmental Research Letters, 11(5), 054006.