International best practice
Research carried out by Ges Rosenberg has looked at international best practices for stations. “From what I’ve seen, we’ve got quite a lot to learn in the UK, and a long way to go.
“Stations in Kyoto, Amsterdam and Zurich, for instance, have already initiated programmes of incremental sustainable improvement; decarbonising and doing that within the context of a station with historic value. That is exactly the challenge we have at Bristol Temple Meads.”
Dawid Hanak’s focus so far has been to understand the different sources of data used to calculate emissions, and to begin speaking with stakeholders to understand energy demand. Moving forward, he will be conducting passenger surveys at Bristol Temple Meads about their propensity to use stations and travel on trains in the future.
Tackling real world problems
Both academics say they are excited by being part of the Researchers in Residence programme. “For me, it shows that Connected Places Catapult is working to tackle real world problems through new solutions and innovations, and it has been hugely valuable to make use of their connections,” says Ges.
“The Station Innovation Zone follows a really a strong theme in Bristol which is all about social responsibility, innovation and decarbonisation.”
Dawid adds: “This Station Innovation Zone at Bristol Temple Meads helps rich discussions to take place, and for organisations and researchers to come in and test their ideas; seeing how they work in real life.”
The researchers’ focus on sustainability fits with one of the three challenge areas at Bristol Temple Meads, where . But they also point out that the aims of sustainability overlap with those of the other themes: safe, social and seamless mobility.
“We need a just transition to net zero, evidence of how we can do that, and to have conversations that are grounded in science and an understanding of business and social needs,” says Ges. “Managing uncertainty by having a demonstrator project and taking those learnings to other stations is really powerful.”
Dawid adds: “Decarbonising station buildings can be a challenge: their volume makes it expensive to heat and maintain. There is work to be done and digital technology is part of the answer; helping us to collate, understand and analyse data to make better decisions.”
Another round of the Researchers in Residence scheme will launch on 5 October, with funding of up to £50,000 available for academics who are chosen. Register here for a launch event giving details.
To be alerted about opportunities at Connected Places Catapult, join our Academic Network.