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Making the case for geography

2011 Monica Cole Research Grant recipient Rocio Urruita - Measuring stem respiration at the Alerce Andino siteGeographical work has significant impact: it generates economic benefit, influences government policy and delivery, and improves our overall quality of life.

This series of case studies from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) all demonstrate where geographical research is having a significant impact.

A range of case studies have been published covering topics including improving river quality, understanding migration, flood management, improving local health and communities, and making our roads safer.

Promoting opportunities for young people (Case study 16)

Geographical research that has: helped the UK Government to make a policy decision to expand training of young people through cadet forces. Led by: Professor Graham Moon, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Southampton and Dr Liz Twigg, Reader in Human Geography, University of Portsmouth. Types of impact: providing evidence used by government to promote new policies; supporting social benefits from improving activities and support for young people.

View case study

Published 20.03.13.


Influencing government policy to protect access to allotments (Case study 15)

Geographical research that has: changed government policy and has increased popular understanding of the important role of common land and green space in local communities. Led by: David Crouch FRGS, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Derby, and Associate, University of Nottingham. Types of impact: Direct and on-going influence on government policy. Raising awareness of wider public benefits to health and well-being.

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Published 20.03.13.


Improving the health and quality of rivers and water bodies (Case study 14)

Geographical research that has: helped the Environment Agency implement the EU Water Framework Directive by assessing how river plants effect a stream’s health. Led by: Dr Geraldene Wharton, School of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London. Types of impact: research and evidence leading to more efficient implementation of policy, and reducing public expenditure; social and health benefits from improving the ecological health of natural environments.

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Published 18.04.12.


Helping policy makers to better plan for an ageing population (Case study 13)

Geographical research that has: collaborated with business and the public sector to help stimulate growth in the economy. Led by: a team of N8 University partners, including Professor Ray Hudson, Department of Geography, University of Durham and Professor Phil Rees and his team at the School of Geography, University of Leeds. Types of impact: research and evidence leading to more efficient implementation of policy; social benefits from improving public services in response to demographic change; achieving economic potential from collaboration with business and the public sector.

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Published 18.04.12.


Working with local communities, and raising public awareness, on health issues (Case Study 12)

Geographical research that has: provided local communities with a greater understanding of the links between where they live and public health, and raised the profile of the need for investment in former coalfield areas, especially in the North East. Led by: Professor Sarah Curtis, Durham University. Types of impact: Public engagement: raised awareness and informing public opinion; stimulating debate and discussion; stimulating involvement and participation; building capacity in organisations who work with the public; enhancing the quality of infrastructure to benefit the public.

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Published 14.09.11.


Communicating historical perspectives on human-climate relations to public audiences (Case Study 11)

Geographical research that has: demonstrated to a large public audience a fresh perspective on the debate relating to climate change. Led by: Professor David Livingstone, Queens University Belfast. Types of impact: Public engagement: informing public opinion and discourse; cultural enrichment; stimulating debate and discussion; generating inspiration and curiosity.

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Published 14.09.11.


Developing engaging new ways of presenting geographical data (Case Study 10)

Geographical research that has: developed novel cartographic techniques to analyse and popularise quantitative geographical information about the world. Led by: Professor Danny Dorling, University of Sheffield. Types of impact: Public engagement: raised awareness and informing public opinion and discourse; stimulating debate and discussion; generating inspiration and curiosity; building capacity in organisations who work with the public.

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Published 14.09.11.


Research which opens up fresh perspectives on historical accounts to the public (Case Study 9)

Geographical research that has: brought fresh perspectives on historical accounts of exploration to public audiences. Led by: Professor Felix Driver, Royal Holloway, University of London. Types of impact: Public engagement: raised awareness and new knowledge; cultural enrichment; stimulating debate and building mutual understanding; stimulating involvement and participation.

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Published 14.09.11.


Helping to protect children's interests in the asylum process (Case study 8)

Geographical research that has: led to policy changes to provide greater protection of the interests of children in the asylum process. Led by: Professor Heaven Crawley, Swansea University. Types of impact: underpins evidenceled policy formulation; enhances human rights protection; and improves the practice of asylum administration and its impact on children.

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Published 23.11.10.


Promoting links between universities and their localities (Case study 7)

Geographical research that has: understood, developed and promoted the economic role of universities within their own localities. Led by: Professor John Goddard and Professor John Tomaney, Newcastle University. Types of impact: enhancing economic development in low performing localities and regions inBritain; furthering the roles that universities can play in local economic development.

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Published 23.11.10.


Improving urban environments by developing ways to revitalise degraded rivers (Case study 6)

Geographical research that has: aided urban regeneration and improved local environmental quality through providing river managers and the Environment Agency with new techniques for the restoration of urban river. Led by: Professors Angela Gurnell, Queen Mary, University of London and Geoff Petts, University of Westminster. Types of impact: improved urban regeneration (economic benefits); enhanced local environments and quality of life; community engagement and participation.

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Published 18.10.10.


Better understanding of migration in the UK (Case study 5)

Geographical research that has: developed more accurate methods of measuring the internal migration of ethnic minorities, to assist planners and policy makers to make informed decisions about promoting integration and addressing social tensions. Led by: Professors John Stillwell and Phil Rees, University of Leeds. Types of impact: helps understand ethnic composition change spatially across different parts of the UK; underpins evidence led policy formulation and enhances planning for social change, integration and potential instability.

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Published 18.10.10.


Helping the public and private sectors get the most from the census (Case study 4)

Geographical research that has: developed a way to provide systematic data about local areas, thereby assisting central government, local authorities, businesses and communities to make more informed decisions and policies on matters relating to population numbers, distributions and characteristics. Led by: Professor David Martin, Southampton. Types of impact: helps underpin evidenceled policy formulation; supports efficient targeting of public funds; economic impact; potential to empower local communities.

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Published 01.10.10.


More cost-efficient approaches to flood management (Case study 3)

Geographical research that has: provided research evidence to government and led to the development of more cost-efficient approaches to flood management, reducing the financial and human cost of future flood events. Led by: Professors Colin Thorne, Nottingham University and Edmund Penning-Rowsell, Middlesex University. Types of impact: research and evidence led policy formulation and better targeted public expenditure leading to economic impact and benefits; and improving safety and reducing risks to lives and local community infrastructure.

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Published 01.10.10.


Better targeted spending on deprived neighbourhoods (Case study 2)

Geographical research that has: shaped the DCLGs Regeneration Framework, and is now being used widely by local authorities to target spending more efficiently on financial assistance for poorer areas. Led by: Professor Brian Robson, University of Manchester. Types of impact: economic impact; improving public services to, and quality of life in, deprived areas.

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Published 17.09.10.


Making Britain's roads safer and saving money for councils (Case study 1)

Geographical research that has: developed new technologies which make our roads and transport safer, while also saving money for councils and tax payers; Led by: Professor John Thornes, University of Birmingham. Types of impact: blue skies research that led to economic impact through technology-led enterprise development and savings in public expenditure; public benefit through improving health and safety in transport.

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Published 17.09.10.

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