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Global Sustainable Development Project (GD107)

For the first year core module: Global Sustainable Development Project (GD107), students learn about the critical investigation of a major development project from the three primary spheres of Sustainable Development: the social, environmental and economic. In the 2016-17 academic year, teaching focused on the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project, which aims to build a new high speed railway line, initially between London and Birmingham. As students learned more about specific discplinary approaches to such research and evalaution, each group chose a particularly issue to investigate and also thought about engaging ways through which to communicate their findings to difference public audiences. The outcomes of their work can be found below.

Selected Student Outputs

HS2: The Game

As the player, you will be answering as if you are in charge of constructing High Speed Two (HS2). This company was set up by the government’s Department of Transport and wider government and they are also funding the project. As the head of HS2 limited your task is to decide how HS2 will be constructed in a way that will boost the economy but also keep the project popular with councils, environmental NGOs, and members of the public. At the end of the game you will be given feedback which will relate to how well you managed to construct HS2 cost effectively whilst also responding to the concerns raised by various opposition groups. You will also be able to find out how HS2 actually responded to these problems as they are all real issues that the company have faced. Play the game here.

HS2: The New Fair Metric for Biodiversity Assessment


After analysing how biodiversity loss is being measured, and therefore the strategies for protecting the environment developed, during the High Speed 2 (HS2) project, we identified unfairness in the way that natural assets are valued. Therefore, we developed a New Fair Metric. Whilst we can appreciate that HS2 and its proposed protection program has been approved by both DEFRA and government, it is our aim to ensure that future development projects achieve greater socio-cultural and environmental justice. Please view our website.

Will HS2 phase one benefit all Northern urban areas more so than London?


In this episode of Starting the Week we discussed the £60 billion government infrastructure project, HS2, and specifically whether it is going to close the socio-economic North-South divide, which is said to be the main objective of the project. Please view our website or listen to the program below.

HS2: A Documentary Comparison

The North South Divide


The purpose of this website is to expose young adults living in the UK to the inequality existing between the North and the South of the country, with the overall aim of increased political and social involvement in what is considered one of the most profound infrastructure projects in the history of the UK, that is the HS2 project. A survey we conducted provides a brief overview of the current level of awareness of the North South Divide and the HS2 project, including the current level of involvement within the project at this stage.

HS2: A Tail of Two Cities

"Once upon a time, in a land not so far away (about 64 miles along the M6) was a magical land called called Stoke-on-Trent. It was known across the land for producing marvellous pottery, being the birthplace of Robbie Williams and being a notoriously tough place to play football on a cold, rainy Tuesday night".

This book is packed with pocket-sized stories which explore the impacts of hs2 if it was constructed and routed through Stoke-on-Trent.

HS3: A More Socially and Economically Inclusive Alternative to HS2

In this report, the use of secondary research and data sources was prominent. This is primarily a result of our project being based upon hypothetical developmental models and theory, a lack therefore of tangible empirical data that can be gathered and quantified, we instead drew upon reliable secondary data, derived from case study material, that had already been obtained by professional researchers in the field. There were also concerns that primary data, attained
through surveys, may be tainted in its reliability due to a small quantity of participants of whom would have a limited knowledge of complex theorised developmental models. Therefore, a survey may not be accurate nor statistically representative of the impacted population, which in turn may result in a high percentage of statistical errors. Thus, relying on already existing data and theories from scholars in the field seemed like the most appropriate way of building this report’s theoretical argument.

HS2: Identify the gaps in the public’s knowledge and creating different information resources to fill these gaps


Our project is about how much people really know about HS2 and creating accurate information resources for them. We decided to aim our resources at the local areas of Kenilworth and Birmingham, for several reasons. Firstly, they are areas that will be affected by HS2, but also are local to the University of Warwick and therefore were easily accessible for us. This meant our project could have a local community focus. Additionally, the two separate places gave us a nice variation between a rural/town area and a large city – meaning that peoples’ worries, hopes and opinions about HS2 would be varied and a more accurate representation of people affected by HS2. Please see our Facebook page here, from which our other outputs are linked

Tremendous Thanks to our Contributors

The delivery of this module would not have been possible without the generous input from a wide range of stakeholders. We hope our outputs will be of interest in return for your support.