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Witnesses: Sustainable cities

A selection of experts or ‘witnesses’ were invited to each monthly meeting to provide their perspective on sustainability and governance in future cities and to answer questions about the greatest challenges they face in their area of expertise.

One of the aims of holding these witness sessions was to bring people together who would not usually meet each other but who are working in areas which overlap enough to stimulate an interesting discussion. 

Follow the links to find out more about the themes of each meeting and the witnesses.


We met three times in 2013 and the themes were:

15th October: Setting the scene

19th November: Wellbeing, green spaces, urban biodiversity and urban landscapes

17th December: Development, infrastructure and planning


During the first half of 2014, we focused on:

21st January: Services, questions of scale, ‘smart’ growth and health

18th February: Connectivity, planning, cities as systems and urban design

11th March: Connectivity, big data, flows and resilience

29th April: Resource flows, communities and infrastructure 

17th June: Sustainability in practice, developing countries and the role of citizens


For more information about any of these meetings, please contact Dr Rosamunde Almond ()


Profiles of all the witnesses

Jon Alexander
  • Founder and Director, The New Citizenship Project
Professor Ash Amin
  • 1931 Chair in Geography,
  • University of Cambridge
Dr Britt Baillie
  • Affiliated Lecturer: Division of Archaeology
  • Research Member, Centre for Urban Conflicts Research,
  • University of Cambridge
Professor Michael Batty
  • Professor of Planning, and Chairman, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis,
  • Faculty of the Built Environment, University College, London (UCL)
Jo da Silva
  • Director
  • Arup International Development
Dr Craig Davies
  • Senior Manager, Climate Change Adaptation, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Professor Marcial Echenique
  • Emeritus Professor of Land Use and Transport Studies,
  • Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
Professor Steve Evans
  • Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability,
  • Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge
+44 (0) 1223 339815
Diane Haigh
  • Director of Allies and Morrison, Architects
  • Fellow and Director of Studies at Trinity Hall, the University of Cambridge
Kirsten Henson
  • Director,
  • KLH Sustainability
Dr Felipe Hernandez
  • University Lecturer and Chair of the 'Cities South of Cancer' research group,
  • Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
Professor Frank Kelly
  • Professor of the Mathematics of Systems,
  • Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics,
  • The Master of Christ's College,
  • University of Cambridge
Mark Kleinman
  • Director, Economic and Business Policy
  • Greater London Authority (GLA)
Simon Marsh
  • Head of Planning Policy
  • The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
Carmel McQuaid
  • Manager of Sustainable Business,
  • Marks and Spencer
Alex Nickson
  • Policy and Programmes Manager for Climate Change Adaptation and Water,
  • Greater London Authority
Dr David Ogilvie
  • Programme Leader,
  • MRC Epidemiology Unit
Dr David Pencheon
  • Director,
  • NHS Sustainable Development Unit
Dame Fiona Reynolds
  • Master of Emmanuel College and formerly the Director General of the National Trust
Lawrie Robertson
  • Director/Partner,
  • Happold Consulting
Professor Richard Sennett
  • Centennial Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics
  • Professor of the Humanities, New York University
Professor Alan Short
  • Professor of Architecture
  • Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
Professor Catharine Ward Thompson
  • Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), Director of the OPENspace research centre and Associate Dean for Research, Knowledge Exchange and Impact for the College of Humanities and Social Science,
  • University of Edinburgh
Professor Sir Alan Wilson, FBA, FRS
  • Professor of Urban Regional Systems,
  • University College London

Experts from across and beyond Cambridge also joined the Forum each month to help us to think about different aspects of cities.

Find out more