Oxford Urbanists New Literacies: What drives the success of cities? What Complexity Theory teaches us about urban spaces and economies
Does a formula to predict the perfect city size exist? Urban economists since the industrial revolution have long sought to develop equilibrium models for how cities evolve and grow. Yet the emergence of increasingly diverse spatial networks of industries, people, and jobs entails new ways of thinking about urban ecosystems. This lecture offers a brief introduction to complexity theory, which offers a multi-disciplinary approach combining the social, mathematical and physical sciences. It applies this lens and way of thinking to understanding what constrains and enables cities to become inclusive engines of growth. In particular, it will examine the relationship between the creation of formal employment and the embedded capability base or complexity of the city.
Dr Neave O'Clery is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford and leads a new research programme on Urban Dynamics and Policy. Her work focuses on studying processes underlying economic development and the emergence of complexity for cities, using tools from graph theory and network science. She was previously a Fulbright Scholar and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School.
“New Literacies for a New Urbanism” is a novel series of lectures, featuring a range of experts - both scholars and practitioners - doing cutting-edge work on urban issues. Given the deeply multi-disciplinary or even trans-disciplinary nature of cities, the lecture series will seek insights and wisdom on urban phenomena in a range of academic disciplines and areas of practice. Upcoming lectures in Hilary and Trinity Terms will include what we can learn
about cities from mathematics, Chinese politics, design and sustainability studies - so watch this space!
The third seminar is entitled Planning Education. Re-framing urban planning pedagogies
Discussants will interrogate pedagogies that facilitate co-learning and the co-production of knowledge at different scales, with multiple actors from the government, the private sector, academia, and civil society.
The conference is organized by the MCC Berlin, and co-sponsored by Future Earth, the Global Carbon Project, the University of Oxford, and CIRED.
The Vanguard conference welcomes entrepreneurs, community developers, activists, artists, designers, urban planners and sustainability experts — anyone committed to improving cities. Vanguard is a unique opportunity to meet the best and brightest urban thinkers and innovators from the across the world.
Digital | Visual | Cultural aims to explore these questions by engaging a range of scholarship that takes visual culture to be a fundamental mode of mediating the world, and one which produces particular kinds of subjects, objects, and relations.
Part III of the Oxford Urbanists/IGC Cities that Work panel series will focus on the effectiveness of special economic zones in developing cities. Practitioners and researchers from across the Oxford community will discuss how SEZs have historically driven economic growth in various geographic contexts, how they can do so in the future.
In this presentation, I examine the case of ‘Shared Streets for a Low-Carbon District’, an urban experiment that sought to reduce carbon emissions and promote more sustainable habits in a neighbourhood of Santiago de Chile through urban tactics and participatory sensing.
Early Career Researcher Workshop and Dissemination Event for the International Network for Transport and Accessibility in Low Income Communities (INTALInC)
‘Future priorities for meeting the transport and accessibility needs of low income communities in developing urban contexts.’
INTALInC case studies: Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, India, South Africa, Philippines Funder and stakeholder responses.
BOOK LAUNCH + PANEL DISCUSSION: Arturo Soto's 'In the Heat' with Dr Paul Edwards and Dr Rolando de la Guardia Wald
On Friday, 27 April we are joined by our panellists, Paul Edwards and Rolando de Guardia Wald, to discuss Arturo Soto’s debut photobook, 'In the Heat'.
The central focus of this conference will be on how scholars and policy makers can talk across cities and times (past, present and future) in normative but non-homogenizing ways.
Across many developing cities, policymakers are increasingly looking to upgrade and modernize existing transport systems in an effort to meet the growing needs of rapidly expanding populations. For instance, in Lagos, Governor Ambode aims to phase out the use of danfo minibuses and replace them with high capacity buses that can operate on Bus Rapid Transit lines. Reactions to such policies from citizens are mixed, with some strongly supportive and others emphasizing the important role minibuses play in improving urban mobility. As such, policymakers in rapidly growing cities face some key questions relating to informal transportation services:
- What role do existing informal transport systems play in improving the livability and productivity of cities? How do they contribute to the downsides of density in cities?
- How can, and has, regulation of informal transport in cities improved mobility services? How can this be done effectively?
- At what stage should cities be investing in more formal high capacity public transport systems, and what are the conditions needed for this to improve urban mobility? What does this mean for existing informal systems of transport?
As part II of the Oxford Urbanists/IGC-Cities that Work panel series, this discussion will bring together researchers from different disciplines to explore where research and policy experience can inform these questions for future decisionmaking.
The Oxford Urbanists are proud to announce the first event in a series of collaborations with the Cities That Work team of the International Growth Centre on policy discussions for urban issues in the developing world.
Amidst a backdrop of rapid population growth, variable migration patterns, and the shifting effects of a changing climate, designing and implementing policies for urban areas has emerged as an essential exercise for anyone serious about development in all its forms. The aim of this series is to frankly engage with the all-important and often contentious debates surrounding these issues and try to find sustainable and inclusive ways forward.
This event will explore the nexus of land rights and informal settlements in urban settings. Panelists will be responding to a set list of questions, and audience participation is highly encouraged!
Discussion will include, but not be limited to, the following questions:
- In what contexts are informal settlements in low-income cities best characterised as poverty traps, or as springboards for social and economic integration into a city? What does this mean for policy?
- In what contexts are different policy options appropriate for informal settlements, particularly in central urban areas? Can land sharing solutions offer a promising alternative to upgrading or resettlement?
- What are the barriers to effective policy in addressing the problems associated with informal settlements?
- How can policymakers deal with the issue of competing claims over land ownership in informal settlements?
- In order to ensure future urban growth occurs in a more planned and orderly manner, how can policymakers most effectively enable low-cost provision of housing to poor urban residents?
The event will be chaired by Michael Blake, Cities That Work team at the IGC.
- Professor Stefan Dercon (Professor of Economic Policy, Blavatnik School of Government; Chief Economist, UK Department for International Development)
- Professor Doug Gollin (Professor of Development Economics, Oxford Department of International Development)
- Dr. Andreza de Souza Santos (Post-Doctoral Researcher, Oxford Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society [COMPAS])
The event will be held in the Zaha Hadid-designed Investcorp Theatre of St. Antony's College. Following the panel, there will be a reception where we will introduce in more detail the Oxford Urbanists, our current work, visions for the future, and opportunities for engagement. This session will be very informal and we do hope you will stick around!
This panel will be chaired by Dr. Nihan Akyelken (Associate Professor in Sustainable Urban Development, University of Oxford).
Rafael Pereira (DPhil/PhD Candidate in Geography, University of Oxford) will explore justice and equity in transportation policies from the point of those using transportation.
Juan Manuel del Nido (PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester) will follow with insights on justice and equity across transportation providers.
Finally, Jorge Perez Jaramillo (architect, former Deputy Director of the Metropolitan Planning Area of Medellín, and visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge) will lend reflections on planning and policy from his experience helping to design Medellín’s “City of Life” urban planning strategy, which resulted in the 2016 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize (https://vimeo.com/158880335).
Please join us at the launch event of the Oxford Urbanists! The format will be presentations followed by Q&A and a reception.
As we are a brand new organization, we would love to hear from any students interested in being a part of this team moving forward. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Speakers will include:
-Dr. Idalina Baptista
-Andrew Comer, Cities Director, Buro Happold Engineering.
-Members of the Cities That Work Group from the Blavatnik School of Government.
Dr. Idalina Baptista is an Associate Professor of Urban Anthropology in the Department of Continuing Education, Director of the DPhil and MSc programs in Sustainable Urban Development, and a Fellow of Kellogg College, an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities, an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, and a member of the Consultative Committee of the African Studies Centre. She is also a Visiting Professor at the School of Architecture and Physical Planning, University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique. She has taught on diverse themes relating to urban planning and environmental management at the University of California, Berkeley, the New University of Lisbon, Universidade Aberta, and Universidade Atlântica, in Portugal. She held a visiting position at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon and collaborated with colleagues at the New University of Lisbon on projects involving public participation in urban and environmental planning and policymaking. Her teaching and research are informed by past experience as an environmental planning consultant and as a member of an environmental NGO.
Andrew Comer has 40 years of experience in civil engineering consultancy work, embracing a wide range of disciplines and projects in many parts of the world. This breadth and depth of involvement has, over the past decade, found its outlet in leading a growing number of major masterplan and urban development projects for BuroHappold. Work in this field integrating a wide range of disciplines and skills to deliver efficient, sustainable and attractive urban quarters has been delivered in the Middle East, India, China and Russia as well as Europe. In doing so, he has worked alongside some of the world's leading architects and designers. From 2003, Andrew led the BuroHappold team providing the strategic engineering inputs of the London 2012 Olympic Park and Legacy Masterplan and Design together with the EDAW Consortium and working directly for the London Development Agency and Olympic Delivery Authority. This award-winning scheme contributes the catalyst for change for the East End of London, delivering not just a venue for the world's greenest Olympic Games but a future-proofed, 246-hectare regeneration development platform from one of Europe's most deprived and polluted sites.