TOOLKIT: Net Zero Sense of Place Framework



Patrick Devine-Wright
Huei-Ling Lai
Jo Hamilton

University of Exeter

Net Zero Sense of Place Framework

Place is central to the development of industry since all industrial activities involve the deployment of technologies and infrastructures somewhere in particular. Industrial activities shape the past and future of industrial towns and regions.

Since 2018, the UK government has aimed to create several low- and zero-carbon industrial clusters. These are also expected to ‘level up’ industrial regions through the deployment of novel technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen. What is often overlooked is that how these changes are seen and experienced by ‘host’ communities will determine the outcomes of technology deployment.

A place-sensitive approach presumes that ‘once size fits all’ policies will fail to deploy industrial decarbonisation in ways that are effectively tailored to local needs and circumstances. Industrial decarbonisation needs to shift from a technology-centred perspective to one that recognises host communities’ sense of place, if deployment is to be effective, fair and acceptable, and to avoid risk of delay.

This Framework aims to guide a place-sensitive approach to industrial decarbonisation.

This project was funded by IDRIC (under EPSRC award number: EP/V027050/1). The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of IDRIC. Neither IDRIC nor EPSRC can be held responsible for them.