Open projects in DeSCIPHER (China activities)

China-Norway research cooperation possibilities in the field of urban stormwater management and nature-based solutions

The proposed topics could be addressed separately or in combination and serve mainly as suggestions for Chinese-Norwegian research cooperation under CSC-research proposal grants for PhD-students. With less complexity the suggested topics could also be addressed by master students.

If you are interested in collaborating on one or several of the proposed topics, please do not hesitate to contact Isabel Seifert-Dähnn.

Topic 1: Consideration of low impact developments (LID), nature-based solutions (NBS) and other stormwater solutions in the planning process in China

Research Questions: How are LID, NBS and stormwater solutions considered in the urban planning process? What actors/agencies are involved in the planning, financing and implementation process? What is the main motivation of city governments / different city agencies to implement NBS? Any involvement of private actors? What hinders or fosters the uptake of NBS / stormwater solutions?

Implementation: The proposed research activities are linked to the Sino-European research project DeSCIPHER (https://newwaterways.no/china-activities/). The research activities in China should therefore be mainly carried out in Suzhou. They can be expanded to the European cases (Oslo in Norway and Birmingham in UK), but also to other Chinese cities to enable a cross-city / cross-country comparison.

The proposed work can be done as part of a PhD project or when shortened 1-2 master-students could work on it. The estimated duration of the project is 6-8 months.

Background of student: Good Chinese and English language skills are required. The student must be confident to work independently and as part of a larger project team. A background in urban planning, water management or geography would be of preference, but is not a requirement. Experience in social science research methods like interviews or document analysis are of advantage, but no requirement.

 

Topic 2: Use- and none-use values of nature-based solutions (NBS) in cities

Research Questions: Which value place different population groups on NBS (e.g. parks) in their cities? How do they use different NBS and how do they value these usages? Are there any NBS characteristics, which determine this value (e.g. proximity, accessibility, quality, type of NBS, etc.)?

Implementation: The proposed research activities are linked to the Sino-European research project DeSCIPHER (https://newwaterways.no/china-activities/). The research activities in China should therefore be mainly carried out in Suzhou. They can be expanded to the European cases (Oslo in Norway and Birmingham in UK), but also to other Chinese cities to enable a cross-city / cross-country comparison.

The proposed work can be done as part of a PhD project or when shortened 1-2 master-students could work on it. The estimated duration of the project is 6-8 months.

Background of student: Good Chinese and English language skills are required. The student must be confident to work independently and as part of a larger project team. A background in economics, geography or urban planning are preferred. Experience in stated preference survey methodology (or revealed preference methodology) is an advantage, but no requirement.

 

Topic 3: Financing nature-based solutions (NBS)

Research Questions: How are NBS in cities currently financed? What potential other financing models could be used? In which cases are public private partnerships successful and in which cases not?  What is the business potential of different types of NBS?

Implementation: The proposed research activities are linked to the Sino-European research project DeSCIPHER (https://newwaterways.no/china-activities/). Research about current financing practices should include the city of Suzhou and other Chinese cities. If of interest the study could also be carried out as comparative study i.e. Suzhou/Chinese Cities are compared with cities in Europe or the US. Results should be presented to stakeholders at workshops in China, UK (and eventually Norway).

The proposed work can be done as part of a PhD project or when shortened 1-2 master-students could work on it. The estimated duration of the project is 6-8 months.

Background of student: Good Chinese and English language skills are required, a third language would be of advantage if comparison with a not English speaking country is foreseen. The student must be confident to work independently and as part of a larger project team. Knowledge in economics are required.

 

Topic 4: Perception of water-related nature-based solutions (NBS) in cities

Research Questions: What preferences do park visitors have for water-containing elements in the park, which are linked/or not to stormwater management? What ecosystem services are delivered by these elements to park visitors? Are there any characteristics, which increase / decrease the ecosystem services delivered (e.g. proximity, accessibility, quality, type of water-element, etc.)?

Implementation: The proposed research activities are linked to the Sino-European research project DeSCIPHER (https://newwaterways.no/china-activities/). The research activities in China should therefore be mainly carried out in a park or park-like area (e.g. riparian parkland along a stream/canal) in Suzhou. If possible (i.e. when similar park-structures exist), the work should be carried out in parallel in Suzhou, Birmingham (UK) and Oslo (Norway) to enable a comparison between these cities/countries.

The proposed work can be done as part of a PhD project or when shortened 1-2 master-students could work on it. The estimated duration of the project is 6-8 months – eventually longer for city-comparison.

Background of student: Good Chinese and English language skills are required. The student must be confident to work independently and as part of a larger project team. A background in urban planning, landscape architecture, water management or geography is preferred, but not a requirement. Experience in social science research methods like on-site observations, online-surveys, social-media analysis and interviews are of advantage, but no requirement.