Tales from the City: Intersections between the urban environment and owner-occupier low carbon retrofit

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The significant contribution that refurbishing our aging housing stock can make to reducing CO2 emissions is widely accepted. With many of our oldest and least efficient dwellings located in cities, these urban environments will be critical in realising the 80% reduction target set out in the Climate Change Act 2008.

Existing research examining domestic retrofit in cities has predominantly taken the form of large-scale quantitative studies comparing the impact of different strategies across multiple cities. In contrast, this research - drawing on 31 in-depth interviews with owner-occupiers in Bristol who have undertaken significant home improvements - will adopt a qualitative research philosophy. Rather than evaluating strategies specifically designed to encourage low carbon retrofit, this research identifies background conditions of the city that give rise to home improvements or influence the process through which they are implemented. Such background conditions may include: the local property market; the provision of municipal services; and how inhabitants identify with the city.

To conclude, this paper proposes how a richer understanding how the city intersects with occupants’ lives, from the significant to the mundane, can further the identification of potential home improvement projects and increase the adoption low carbon retrofit measures into these projects.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2017
EventCity+ Conference - Cambridge University, Cambridge
Duration: 23 Sept 2017 → …


ConferenceCity+ Conference
Period23/09/17 → …


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