6 episodes

The Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities seeks to understand how cities can be made more flexible to face the challenges of the next fifty years. This seminar series brings together researchers from across the University of Oxford to discuss the ways in which urban flexibility may be theoretically conceptualised, empirically researched and operationalised in practice.

Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities Oxford University

    • Education

The Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities seeks to understand how cities can be made more flexible to face the challenges of the next fifty years. This seminar series brings together researchers from across the University of Oxford to discuss the ways in which urban flexibility may be theoretically conceptualised, empirically researched and operationalised in practice.

    • video
    Resilience and adaptation in complex city systems

    Resilience and adaptation in complex city systems

    James Simmie (Department of Planning, Oxford Brookes University) develops an evolutionary economics approach to adaptation and change in urban economies. Abstract: In this lecture, James Simmie develops one of the evolutionary economics approaches to understanding adaptation and change in the economic trajectories of urban economies. Neo-classical equilibrist versions of resilience and adaptation are rejected in favour of an evolutionary perspective. He argues in particular for an explanation based on why and how local economies adapt through time both to continual mutations and to periodic gales of creative destruction. Simmie focuses on the extent to which the "panarchy" conceptual framework can suggest testable hypotheses concerning urban and regional resilience. He explores some of these by examining the long-term economic development of two illustrative city-regional economies and one regional economy. These are Cambridge, Swansea and the West Midlands. The findings suggest that adaptive capacity and resilience are built up over years and decades. They are dependent on the generation of endogenous new knowledge, the co-evolution of facilitating institutions and cultures and the conscious decisions of firms and public authorities.

    • 43 min
    • video
    Sustainable development and crime in the urban Caribbean

    Sustainable development and crime in the urban Caribbean

    David Howard (University Lecturer in Sustainable Urban Development, University of Oxford) looks at larger concerns over social and spatial equity, conceptual approaches to sovereignty and the practical interpretation of sustainable forms of justice. Abstract: Recent urban policy initiatives in the Caribbean have shifted from producing material infrastructural change to a greater emphasis on confronting 'civil disorder' via new forms of policing and surveillance. Just as development policy witnessed a 'cultural turn' during the 1990s, so too have sustainable development initiatives at local and international scales recognised and revised attention on forms of social sustainability. Increasing levels of violent crime over the last decade across the Caribbean, one of the most urbanised regions in the world, has placed particular focus on the economic and social vulnerabilities of urban populations. Recent UN and World Bank reports indicate that urban violence is the singular greatest hindrance to economic development in the region. The paper will draw on recent fieldwork in the Dominican Republic, most notably concerning the government's Plan de Seguridad Democrática. A key component is the Barrio Seguro ('Safe Neighbourhood') project, which relies on 'zero tolerance' policing and prolonged militarised intervention in demarcated neighbourhoods to 'secure' the city and its citizens. Such policies raise concerns over social and spatial equity, conceptual approaches to sovereignty and the practical interpretation of sustainable forms of justice. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 45 min
    • video
    Global migration and the future of le droit à la ville

    Global migration and the future of le droit à la ville

    Michael Keith (Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford) interrogates how we think about urban change and normative theory in cities experiencing high levels of international migration. Abstract: The modern city has conventionally received and integrated new arrivals, but the scale of international migration in the 21st century challenges the ethical and social settlement of the metropolis. As cities increasingly mediate global networks and flows of information, capital and culture, the relationship between the national, the urban and the local is reconfigured. How do cities regulate the rights to the city of flows when old boundaries between citizens and denizens lose their clarity? How do transnational and diasporic structures of sensibility alter the languages of belonging in the city? This seminar will interrogate how we think about the interplay of urban change and normative theory in the cities that accommodate demographic change across the world in the 21st century.

    • 49 min
    • video
    New business models for low-carbon cities

    New business models for low-carbon cities

    Mark Hinnells (Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford) explores the impact of policy measures to deliver a low-carbon economy on the development of new business models for low-carbon cities. Abstract: This research explores the impact of policy measures to deliver a low carbon economy (both near term and more extensive policy change) on the development of new business models for low carbon cities. Buildings account for around 47% of UK Carbon emissions (including both residential and non-residential buildings, and including space conditioning, lights and appliances and equipment). The current policy framework will not be sufficient to deliver a 60% or 80% reduction in carbon emissions, and the policy framework is expected to see substantial change in the next decade and beyond. Our current set of technological solutions for heat light and equipment will need to change to achieve such large reductions. Possible policy measures and technology scenarios were explored in the Building Market Transformation programme undertaken at the Environmental Change Institute. The programme resulted in more than 80 published papers. As a consequence of policy changes and alongside technology changes, the business landscape which delivers and manages solutions for the built environment is likely to undergo major re-organisation, with existing organisations changing their business models and processes, as well as the creation of new business models. It is this opportunity and need for new business models which the proposed research will explore. Since two thirds of commercial space and a quarter of residential space is rented or leased, new business models may change the relationship between landlord and tenant, one that has been largely unaltered for many decades. It may include financing low carbon refurbishment off balance sheet. Solutions will be different for low carbon electricity and heat and different for different technologies. One new model is leasing out roofspace for PV, where roofspace has not previously been part of a separate lease. New business models may not solely exist in the commercial sector. They may exist as partnerships between the private sector and the public sector, and even at the intersection of the private sector and civil society. It is important to capture all of these areas. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 52 min
    • video
    Sustainable urban development to 2050 - complex transitions in the built environment of cities

    Sustainable urban development to 2050 - complex transitions in the built environment of cities

    Tim Dixon (Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, Oxford Brookes University) looks at 'critical success factors' that need to be in place for cities to be more sustainable by 2050. Abstract: The majority of the world's population now live in cities. This poses great challenges, but also great opportunities in terms of tackling climate change, resource depletion and environmental degradation. Policy agendas have increasingly focused on how to develop and maintain 'integrated sustainable urban development', and a number of theoretical conceptualisations of urban transition have been formulated to help our thinking and understanding in both developed and developing countries. Drawing on examples around the world the paper aims to examine the key 'critical success factors' that need to be in place for cities to traverse a pathway to a more sustainable future in urban development terms by 2050. The paper explores how important the issues of 'scale' is in the context of complexity and fragmentation in the city's built environment, identifies the lessons that can be learned for future sustainable urban development, and the further research which is needed to address future urban transitions to 2050.

    • 42 min
    • video
    The paralyzed frog, water supply services and sustainable cities

    The paralyzed frog, water supply services and sustainable cities

    Rob Hope (School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford) gives a talk on institutional innovations and new financial models for sustainable water as part of a seminar series on the Future of Cities. Abstract: Any notion of a sustainable city is premised on a secure water supply for human, productive and ecosystem demands. With global urban residents now out-numbering rural dwellers, urban water delivery systems are creaking and leaking under decades of under-investment, new competitive demands, reduced revenue streams, and increasingly scarce and variable water resources. The political economy of water supply means decision-making is challenged by balancing social, political, economic, technical, legal, financial and environmental concerns which often leads to paralysis. In the absence of effective reform and action, millions of people in developing countries are left without adequate water services resulting in avoidable but high daily and life-cycle costs. We examine institutional innovations and new financial models piloted by cities to secure water supplies whilst protecting water ecosystems and how progressive reform may hit the elusive and moving targets of increasing supply coverage rates, at reduced cost and lower water volume delivery.

    • 41 min

Top Podcasts In Education