The Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) has been in a public health emergency for over three years because of a sharp rise in drug overdoses and deaths.

While most of the deaths have involved illicit fentanyl (an opioid substance), addiction to a wide variety of drugs and alcohol is high amongst particular communities. In the City of Vancouver’s 2019 Homeless Count, 69% of the 2,223 surveyed homeless people reported an addiction to at least one substance.

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A man suffers from an overdose in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. (credit: Rafal Gerszak)

Step in the non-profit Streetohome, whose aim is to broker a comprehensive system response to homelessness. To address BC’s addiction epidemic, Streetohome has been exploring the possibility of introducing Recovery Community Centres (RCCs) to Metro Vancouver. …

Over two million electric vehicles (EVs) are now on the road worldwide, but a big hurdle to adoption remains: ensuring that charging stations are available in homes. To encourage their citizens to take the leap and purchase an EV, governments must develop bold new strategies that incentivise the installation of residential charging.

Rapid urban population growth is driving many cities around the world to reduce their carbon footprints. In Canada, two major policy agendas are being pursued to achieve this: urban densification and electrification of the transportation network. Despite the linkages between these goals, they are often pursued separately through disjointed planning strategies. …

Drones are disrupting how many things are done in the modern age, from goods deliveries to warfare. Researchers are increasingly tapping into the power of drones as cheap and rapid ways of collecting data. Here I explore how drones can also be used as tools to communicate change, and to better engage stakeholders during research.

In August 2015, my colleague Russell Layberry and I set out on a little adventure through fields and marshes. Our destination: the River Glyme in Oxfordshire. It was artificially straightened and deepened almost a century ago to prevent flooding, but river engineers at the time couldn’t anticipate the ecological impact of their work. …

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I conducted a Policy Fellowship at the UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST) during my PhD at the University of Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment. In this article, I explain how POST translates scientific research into plain English policy briefings for politicians.

In an era of ‘post-truth’, where ‘experts’ are treated with ever more caution, it is increasingly important for researchers to produce and communicate evidence clearly and robustly. …


Jerome Mayaud

Doctor of windy deserts and climate change. Now urban and population analytics and machine learning @UBC. Science, policy, travel, cake.

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