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Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment


Sustainability in cities is a popular topic and over 700 people have come to public events co-hosted by the Forum and other initiatives and centres in Cambridge to debate, ask questions and to talk about what they think that future cities should and could be like.

Swimming in a sea of data: How can cites become smarter

Technology and big data will radically change the way in which people live, work and move around cities in the future and their impact the environment. At the 2016 Science Festival, panel of experts from across and beyond Cambridge catalysed a discussion about the potential of these new datasets and how the information can be applied at different scales, and explore questions related to privacy and open data. This event was co-hosted with the Future Cities Programme in the Department of Land Economy.

Future Cities Conferences (29th June 2016 and 18th July 2017)

These conferences are part of a broader initiative bringing together academic research and commercial and public sector expertise on issues around how to design, develop, govern and thrive in cities. The initiative is led by the Real Estate Research Centre in the Department of Land Economy in collaboration with CFSE at the University of Cambridge and supported by CapCo plc.

Exploring key questions from the Forum's meetings

Over 150 people came to listen to a panel of the Forum's experts explore ideas and future research questions stemming from our first topic on the 14th January at the McGrath Centre in St Catharine's College.

Can we rethink how we design and live in cities? How will cities adapt to the challenges facing them in the future? What new research can we do and what new connections can we make to help us to prepare for these challenges?

Our meetings generated some fascinating ideas and these have been distilled into an output. The panel used this as starting point to talk about future research and unanswered questions related to where we live in cities, how we live and how we respond to change.

Launching the Resilient Cities Policy Briefing

On the evening of 21 January 2015, an enthusiastic audience gathered at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to launch the CSaP and CFSE policy challenge briefing “Resilient Cities” and hear how cities can adapt to a changing climate.

The Forum worked in partnership with CSaP and the EBRD to bring together an interdisciplinary panel of distinguished speakers whose diverse perspectives illuminated the complexity of the problem of climate change and cities, and the urgency of the response required from government, industry, civil society and individuals.

Visions of future cities at the Science Festival

The Forum, the Centre for Science and Policy and Energy@Cambridge co-hosted two public events as part of the Science Festival in 2014 and 2015. Both of these explored sustainability in future cities and visions of what they may look like in the future.  This proved to be a popular topic and over 250 people joined these two events to ask listen to the speakers and ask them questions.

March 2015: Joining the dots in future cities

Over 120 people joined two panels of experts in the 18th March to explore how new connections will help to shape cities in the future and visions of Cambridge in 2065 as part of the 2015 Science Festival. During the first half of the evening, four speakers talked about their vision for a sustainable city and how increased connectivity and the flow of resources, people and energy could help to shape cities in the future. This was followed by a second panel of speakers who discussed visions of a future Cambridge.

March 2014: Sustainable cities in an uncertain future

If you were planning a sustainable city, what would you include in it? On Wednesday the 19th March 2014, over 240 people listened to a panel of four Forum members and witnesses how they would answer this question.  The audience were then asked what they would include and broad variety of ideas were put forward, ranging from more places for nature within cities to designing the streets and suburbs we live in to improve our health and wellbeing. 

If you would like more information about these events, please contact Dr Rosamunde Almond ()