‘Critical Thinking Beyond the Bubble and Bonfires’ by Dr David Howard

Beyond.the.BubbleThe new cohort for our MSc Sustainable Urban Development have completed their first  teaching week on ‘Concepts of the City and the Environment’, and are just revving up to submit their initial class paper. Research proposals for the current second-year are being reviewed by supervisors, and the dissertations of the outgoing cohort, ranging from analyses of public space in the Bronx to affordable cooking stoves in Port-au-Prince, are currently being assessed by the Examiners. It’s all go!

More welcome advances in this fifth year of ‘SUD’ at Oxford are the launch of the DPhil programme; the creation of a short course on Financing Sustainability; equal numbers of women and men balancing out the MSc arrivals and the launch of a new annual public lecture in London.

This year for the inaugural lecture, hosted at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, we’re delighted to invite Alex Hilton, Director of Generation Rent, to deliver his talk on ‘Beyond the Bubble’. Alex and his colleagues have been active in voicing and campaigning for affordable housing, and it will be a pleasure to hear his views. Alex will outline his concerns about how Britain’s economy is being damaged by a housing market that is out of control. He will draw the connections between

an individual’s rational decisions about their lifestyle and the macroeconomic impact of those judgements, leading to his conclusion that the housing market is a threat to economic prosperity. He will then outline a proposal for a secondary housing market that would operate alongside the free market, that can generate tens of thousands of affordable homes and reduce the threat of a house-price driven economic collapse. The lecture and following reception is open to all, and promises to be a stimulating evening just off Parliament Square. Please do join us during this week of Guy Fawkes’ festivities and protests, for verbal fireworks, without the bonfires.

Dr David Howard is is an Associate Professor, Course Director for the MSc in Sustainable Urban Development , and Fellow of Kellogg College at the University of Oxford.

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