Posted on 12 August 2021
Both projects are being led within the department by Dr Will Smith.
A climate emergency has been declared by 74% of UK local authorities. As they respond to this via increased tree planting targets for carbon sequestration, it is imperative that they also realise the multiple public benefits - health and wellbeing, green infrastructure, social amenity, the green economy - that treescapes can provide. 'Branching Out' is a NERC funded project involving Dr Will Smith of the Department of Computer Science at the University of York, Loughborough University, Open University and Forest Research. It will evaluate the social and cultural values of urban trees across three cities, and develop new ways of mapping, predicting and communicating those values to support robust, evidence-based decision making and management.
When an infant brain is developing it is exposed to a rich environment: people, objects and places that are experienced as visual and auditory stimuli. What does that environment actually look like for real children? What does a developing child actually get to observe and how does this influence their neural development? In this project we will use novel sensors and algorithms to capture and statistically analyse this data and then, in collaboration with psychologists and neuroscientists, understand how this relates to socio-cognitive development in the first 1,000 days of life.