It seems like a different time but on the 28th of February we had the groundbreaking ceremony at Pool Street West. This was a milestone for the UCL East team as it signifies the start of the build and symbolises the point of no return! The site of the ground breaking was located directly below where our Connected Environment lab will be situated when the building opens in 2022.

We have been working in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a few years on a variety of projects with LLDC, Intel, and others, and have been making fairly regular visits to our Bartlett site at Here East. It has been fascinating watching the growth of the area and is great to see our contribution taking physical form. A fly through of what is being built is available on YouTube.

At a personal level one of the most exciting aspects of our Connected Environments activity at UCL East is our collaboration with our Nature Smart colleagues. Last summer, as part of the UCL East lunch and learn lecture series, we described how the research of different faculties (Bartlett, Life Sciences and Engineering Sciences) are being facilitated through bringing together researchers. In the lecture we touch on the challenges of biodiversity loss at a planetary scale and how a move to a new model of Conservation 4.0 (inspired by the Industry 4.0 model) could help us understand and manage the human systems that are negatively impacting our ecosystems.

Internet of Wild Things – using technology to understand and safeguard our planet, Professor Kate Jones & Professor Duncan Wilson – YouTube

Using connected digital technology we are investigating how we can relate our ability to continuously sense and monitor the Biodiversity Action Plans we put in place to protect our environment. A key question for us is to understand how we can generate the evidence we need to ensure we are heading in the right direction and the challenge of reporting on the daily impact vs looking back at trends over years or decades. If this area of research sounds interesting or you are keen to explore how technologies such as those discussed in wildlabs.net can be used in an urban context then get in touch.

From a teaching perspective, in addition to our own Bartlett CASA Connected Environments MSc, we are now in the midst of contributing to the development of a number of new MSc programmes which will arrive in 2023 and take a unique approach to bringing together academics from CASA, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, Computer Science, Geography. A module on “Sensing Ecology: design-build-deploy” anyone?