‘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 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

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