The Cooling the Commons research programme investigates what it means to live well in cities in a time of climate change. Current urban and housing design is geared towards providing comfort and ‘coolth’ through private air conditioning. This not only contributes further to the energy emissions that drive climate change, it also drives inequality across the city through creating divisions between those who can and cannot afford to be cool.

Cooling the Commons investigates the social and material infrastructures that might better support ‘coolth’ (as opposed to warmth) as climates warm, developing insights into the social, cultural and material contexts that inhibit or support cooling strategies. Cooling the Commons identifies how individual and community capacity to cope with urban heat is constrained or enabled by housing design, housing tenure arrangements, the design of public spaces, networks and everyday material circumstances.

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