‘Boris’s New Cycle Super Highways’ by Dr Matthew Hardy, MSc lecturer


(c) Krysten Newby

The proposal by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, for North-South and East-West protected cycle tracks has drawn attention to cycle danger reduction in the UK, an area in which the country lags behind best practice. Cycling in London has doubled in the last 10 years, but research by Transport for London (TfL) suggests that this is merely existing cyclists making more trips. The same report identifies the Continue reading

‘News from Nowhere? Sustainable urban development, resilience and utopia’ by Drs Idalina Baptista, David Howard and Johanna Waters


Snakeshead printed cotton designed by William Morris (1876) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

William Morris’s fantasy utopian novel, News from Nowhere, set at the turn of the 22nd century, has been heralded as a ‘manual’ for sustainable living, community building and societal progress. Irrespective of locality or region, Morris sets out the development goals for a socialist society in a revolutionary millennium that places the individual as central to the collective good. The significance and influence of News from Nowhere (1891) is thus not bounded by the Thames Valley in which his socialist vision evolves, but reflects more substantively on globalisation and urban development.

The text forms the starting point for a forthcoming panel at the Continue reading

‘Questioning forms of governance in Kingston, Jamaica’ by Dr David Howard MSc course director and lecturer

Kingston - Jamaica (c)  Nicolas OrenStereotypes of Caribbean societies tend to focus more towards beach and weather matters, and cultural skills in the recording studio or on sports fields. Caribbean societies, however, are among the most urbanised, and arguably violent, places on earth. United Nations and World Bank reports over the last five years have systematically revealed urban violence to be the major Continue reading

‘The Harder They Come: colonial and postcolonial narratives of resilience in urban Jamaica’ By Dr David Howard, MSc course director and lecturer

BBC World Service (c)The urban Caribbean, and particularly downtown neighbourhoods of the Jamaican capital city, Kingston, have generated contrasting, and iconic, images for local, diasporic and global audiences: localised artistic, sporting and entrepreneurial creativity shape contemporary global tastes; strong state and neighbourhood leaderships brought communities through the Continue reading

‘Valuing part-time postgraduate studies?’ by Dr David Howard, MSc course director and lecturer


John Johnson Collection, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Funding for postgraduate studies is making the news. Innovative entrepreneur, Juan Guerra, has recently been awarded a Centenary Venture Award by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (the RSA) for devising Studentfunder, an online means for facilitating the costs of post-graduate study and the pursuit of further professional education. Guerra recognised the paucity of funding for financing further studies, as have many Universities in the UK, and beyond.

Universities and some educational funding bodies have increasingly focused on raising scholarships to assist postgraduate research, but this  Continue reading

‘Hong Kong and the protection of immigrant domestic workers’ by Dr Johanna Waters, MSc lecturer

Migrant Workers (c) Rex Pe

Migrant Workers (c) Rex Pe

Social equity has to be at the heart of any vision of sustainable urbanism.

There is also a balance to be struck between ‘freedom’ (whether market or individual) and necessary constraints if sustainability is to be an attainable goal. In the following piece, I explore one issue that at the very least should raise questions about social equity and the sustainability of Continue reading