‘Sustainability: A New Paradigm of Understanding?’ by Derek Wilson

(c) dr_zoidberg, on Flickr

(c) dr_zoidberg, on Flickr

Maintaining a balance between natural, economic, and social capital has already shown itself to be one of the most significant challenges of the 21st century. For hundreds of years, economic and social capital has grown by transforming environmental resources into more ‘useful’ forms. Given that natural capital is finite, this growth is unsustainable by definition, and we are now beginning to observe the limits of this growth as our global environment comes under mounting pressure. Continue reading

‘Dubai: Between Smartness and Identity’ by Jameel Karaki, MSc student

(c) Paolo Margarl via Flickr

(c) Paolo Margarl via Flickr

From a small undeveloped region on the shores of the Arabian Gulf in 1950, Dubai became a fast-growing modern city, a popular destination for tourism and a major economic centre. After years of implementing development plans and policies, Dubai aims to become a ‘Smart City’ ahead of hosting of the 2020 World Expo.

Consequently in April 2013, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) announced the transfer Continue reading

‘Climate Summit 2014: gateway to a climate change deal?’ by Samer Frangieh, MSc student

Frangieh Image

Picture taken during negotiations in COP19 climate conference in Warsaw – November 2013, © Frangieh

Climate change has gained a lot of political attention over the past few years, but with very little progress to celebrate. Even though the science-based evidence produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a leading scientific body on the topic, clearly indicates that climate change is happening now, there remains a strong divide among decision-makers.

We depend upon decision-makers, from countries of Continue reading

‘The Sacred and the Sustainable’ by Anne Marie Sowder, MSc graduate

(c) Charles Tilford

(c) Charles Tilford

For the first time in human history, more people on the planet are living in urban areas than in rural areas. Taken in aggregate, people are on the move to cities, cities where much of the existing building stock still reflects the demographics and needs of their previous populations. This is particularly true for certain religious institutions whose sacred architecture — often monumental worship spaces– are sitting empty. This is just such the case as in New York City, one of the densest urban areas in the United States. Can the sacred be sustained in the city or will financial Continue reading

‘Walkable urbanism as an economic driver?’ By Tim Phillips, MSc graduate

Reconnecting America (c)There is a sea change occurring in United States mobility in recognition of multimodal transit as it relates to walkability and resultant effects on urban forms. Cities and states are in many instances directing future development toward multimodal transit stations, called Transit Oriented Development in the United States, which includes Continue reading

‘Learning from Hong Kong’ By Daniel Elsea, MSc student

HK new town towers

I have found myself recently looking to what I consider my second home – Hong Kong – for a fairly straightforward formula for how our increasingly affluent planet could quickly learn to consume less: a very specific type of intensive urbanisation that is Continue reading

‘Future Cities Unbox Labs 2014’ by Swati Janu, MSc student

Janu, Swati AHRC Image 3x4guide-image - SMALLER
What will our future cities look like? Whether they will be zero-carbon communities, socially inclusive societies, underwater cities or all of the above, one thing is certain – it is not possible for only architects or even economists to envision a sustainable city in isolation. It requires a collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach, similar to the one that the MSUD course is tailored around. Continue reading