Research grant awarded to fund four-year study by academics and industry.

The civil engineering department at Dundee University has been awarded a £1.3m grant to research sustainability in towns and cities. The four-year grant, from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, will enable a group of academics, consultants and industry collaborators to undertake a project entitled “Metrics, Models and Toolkits for Whole Life Sustainable Urban Development”.

The project will be led by professor Malcolm Horner, who said: “One of the problems is that currently we have no way of measuring sustainability because it's such a complex concept, involving economic, environmental and social issues.”

Professor Horner said that giving a single measure of sustainability would allow a direct comparison of the entire sustainable value of different project proposals and help develop better urban plans.