Introducing our Leeds City Council, HS2, UoL & LSI Keynotes for EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class, North 2022


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We’re thrilled to announce our keynote speakers for EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class, North 2022, along with their presentation topics:

“The Decarbonisation of Transport and Improving Air Quality in a Growing City” –  Leeds City Council has made a number of commitments related to both Air Quality and decarbonisation. This follows on from the declaration of a Climate Emergency in 2019 and ongoing work to deliver continuing improvements in air quality. As a city, Leeds aims to be Carbon neutral by 2030 and changes in Transport will play a critical role in meeting that target. To this end, Leeds is working on its own fleet, how the city moves goods and people, and how people live.

“Leeds has ambitious targets to change the way we travel, with modal shift targets designed to transform the city into being a place where you don’t need a car”, says Andrew Hickford, Project Manager for Leeds City Council’s Sustainable Energy & Air Quality Service, which has responsibility for the Leeds Climate Emergency action programme. “We also have targets for our own fleet: by 2025 we will no longer purchase any conventional engine vehicles and by 2030 the fleet will be zero emission or ULEV. We are also adopting the tougher WHO targets for air quality having already delivered compliance with UK and EU legislative targets for NOx”.

In this keynote, Andy will overview the work that has been delivered to date and look forward to the changes that LCC are planning to reduce the carbon impact of transport in the city as they work to meet their 2030 targets.

“Innovation in Construction – Eliminating Diesel” In delivering the HS2 Air Quality Strategy commitments to avoid and minimise impacts from construction on local Air Quality, HS2 has set strict emission requirements for both on- and off-road vehicles and plant. HS2 aims to raise the bar and leave a legacy for future projects, by becoming industry leaders in decarbonising construction.

In their Net Zero Carbon Plan, published earlier this year, HS2 set ambitions to achieve net zero from 2035, which includes reducing carbon from concrete and steel, as well as eliminating diesel from construction. HS2 is determined to use the project’s scope and scale to cut the release of harmful emissions by stipulating contractors building Britain’s new high speed rail network use the cleanest technologies available.

In this keynote presentation, HS2’s Head of Environmental Sciences, Neil Wait, will touch on the significant commitments HS2 has made, highlight the main challenges to date, and provide an overview of collaboration with other major players within construction through the Construction Leadership Council’s ConstructZero and some of the pivotal innovations HS2 has deployed in overcoming these challenges.

“Living Labs: Learning from our Urban Environment” – The University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University use a living lab approach to research and understand air quality in the city of Leeds. The Leeds Living Lab drives the University of Leeds commitment to embed sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration, and innovation: “By bringing together students, staff and city partners, we research and test sustainable solutions to global issues using the University and our communities as a testbed”. In complementary research, the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett have worked with Leeds City Council to deploy a network of sensors across the city region to monitor the urban environment.

The Living Lab for Air Quality began in November 2017, with the aim of building knowledge of air quality and pollution on campus to shape action that drives improvements to the environment and to the health of UoL’s students, staff, and community. Studies have included particulates on campus, indoor vs outdoor air quality relationships and commuter exposure. In addition to similar studies on air quality, the LSI at Leeds Beckett have also been monitoring the Leeds urban heat island and quantifying the impact of green space on urban heat.

Outputs from the Living Lab have been used to inform decision making and policy, including Leeds’ Landscape Strategy and Travel Plan, helping to reduce emissions from vehicles and limit exposure to poor air quality.

This keynote – to be co-presented by UoL’s Sustainability Manager, Thom Cooper, and LSI’s Reader in Building Simulation & Urban Environments, Dr Jim Parker – will look at the benefits of the living lab approach, share learning and examples of work to date and consider the opportunities for expanding and replicating the model along with future work in the city.

Pic from our EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class, South 2022 event, hosted in London back on March 30th

According to Public Health England, “approximately 29,000 deaths per year in the UK could be attributable to man-made particulate matter pollution”. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs estimates the annual cost to the UK economy at about £16 billion.

EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class, North 2022 takes place at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds, on Friday 17th June and will give a fresh take on deploying the latest digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies and best practices to improve urban air quality and drive down emissions and air pollution in cities and regions across the North of England, and beyond. In addition to our inspirational keynotes (plus Q&As), the event will feature: Up to 5 rapid fire innovator presentations (plus Q&As) delivered by leading technology experts and thought leaders, each representing a priority emissions and air quality innovation topic and associated fields of application; Deeper-dive roundtable consultations with speakers and specialists to help hone delegates’ smart strategies and address some of their specific emissions and air quality challenges; Further networking opportunities with peers and pioneers over breakfast, drinks and cooked lunch, and all at no charge!

Qualifying delegates include commissioning, procurement, trialling and partnering leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from progressive city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils; public and private transport operators/service providers; sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; freight and logistics operators; airports and port operators; vehicle manufacturers; energy providers; potential partners from industry (e.g. retail, construction, manufacturing and waste management sectors) and healthcare; DfT, Defra, EA, BEIS, DHSC and supporting national agencies; prime contractors etc.

Those with relevant credentials can REGISTER HERE for a free place and join us for what promises to be an insightful half-day of collaboration and knowledge exchange!

Up to 5 innovators/solution vendors can participate at a Smart Class in an “Innovation Sponsor” capacity: Check out our Event Sponsorship page for full details on “Smart Class Innovation Sponsorship Packages” or contact us by phone or e-mail if you’d like to discuss this option further. Peruse our Testimonials page (or the individual Smart Class event pages on our website) for feedback from previous delegates, sponsors and supporters!

Feature Image Source: eommina on Pixabay

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EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class, North 2022

EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Classes show key buyer side stakeholders how they can deploy the latest digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies and best practices to improve urban air quality and drive down emissions and air pollution in our cities and regions.


   Leeds, UK

Sponsored by
Marston Holdings
Slingshot Simulations
Vortex IoT

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