‘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

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‘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

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‘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

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‘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

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‘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

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

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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

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‘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

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‘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

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Welcome to the Sustainable Urban Development Blog

shutterstock_124831474Welcome to the Sustainable Urban Development programme at the University of Oxford.

This blog mirrors the interdisciplinarity of the postgraduate programme for part-time students of sustainable urbanism at Oxford. It serves as a forum for MSc and DPhil students, urban practitioners and academics to share their ideas, critiques and experiences of present and future city living and the built environment. Continue reading

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