Sustainability research is prominent across faculties in Trinity and is represented in some of our major research themes and research centres.
Research themes relevant to sustainability include Smart Sustainable Planet, International Development, International Integration, Next Generation Medical Devices, Making Ireland, and Telecommunications.
Relevant research centres, networks and projects include the following:
Trinity Centre for the Environment
Originally established in 1979 as the Environmental Sciences Unit, the Trinity Centre for the Environment (TCE) continues to encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary research and teaching in all aspects of the environment. The TCE acts as a hub for academics, postdocs and postgraduates who work in the area of environmental science, or who wish to visit College in order to carry out research in a related area.
Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research
The Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research (TCBR) was launched in December 2008 by Sir David Attenborough. Based in the School of Natural Sciences, the TCBR brings together researchers from across Trinity College Dublin to provide a broad base of expertise in a range of biodiversity research areas, enabling research to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries to encompass biological, social, economic, legal and political aspects of biodiversity.
Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice
A centre for thought leadership, education and advocacy in the struggle to secure global justice for those people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change who are usually forgotten – the poor, the disempowered and the marginalised across the world. It is a platform for solidarity, partnership and shared engagement for all who care about global justice, whether as individuals and communities suffering injustice or as advocates for fairness in resource-rich societies. The foundation provides a space for facilitating action for climate justice to empower the poorest people and countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable and people-centred development.
Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute – Sustainability Projects
Two research groupings within the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute address the importance of achieving a sustainable relationship with the natural world: The Irish Environmental History Network, and the History of Marine Animal Populations project. From understanding and moderating human impact on climate, to promoting the responsible use of finite and renewable natural resources, climate change is now recognised as one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Failure to meet this challenge is having very real consequences on the quality of life even today. Several initiatives hosted by, or affiliated with, the Trinity Long Room Hub relate to the broad concerns of sustainability, and have an important role to play in informing our attempts at achieving a sustainable relationship with the natural world.
The Future Cities research theme investigates the modern metropolis, and explores how we can optimise existing infrastructures in order to improve how cities work. The Future Cities research centre undertakes multi-disciplinary research which enables, promotes and facilitates behavioural change for sustainability. The research is supported by the application of sensor, communication and analytical technological solutions to sustainability concerns in urban infrastructure such as energy, water, waste management and transportation systems.
The growing problem of the unsustainable footprint of the global human population requires innovative future solutions. The Sustainable Environment theme covers very broad research aspects of sustainability related to energy, water and food, waste, air and water pollution, as well as conserving and recovering ecosystem health.
Smart and Sustainable Planet
Research in the Smart and Sustainable Planet hub designs new ways for us to interact with our environment, through the integration of technology with the natural capital provided by plants, animals, microbes, water and land. Human wellbeing is influenced by where and how we live, including material wealth, the quality of our built and natural environments, physical and mental human health, recreation, culture and education. It is estimated that 60-70% of the world’s population will live in urban environments by the year 2030 and the effects of cities extend far beyond their boundaries, as cities consume 75% of the world’s energy and emit 80% of its greenhouse gases. Therefore, solutions to smart and sustainable wellbeing require explicit consideration of how and where we live.