University of Oxford Network for the Future of Cities Programme

No matter where they are, cities face mounting and compounded challenges unlike ever before. The Covid-19 pandemic has ushered in a disruptive series of public health, economic, social, and political crises, while a growing number of cities are threatened by intensifying global risks, such as climate disasters, ethnic and racial tensions, cultural disintegration, conflicts, and depleting resources. The need to train leaders in tackling these challenges for the viability of our urban future has never been more pressing.

These short courses are designed to do just that, offering expertise in the key areas of sustainable urban development to make cities flexible, healthy, inclusive, resilient, and vibrant in response to evolving challenges and circumstances. These areas include governance and policy, design and planning, technology and innovation, business and economics, and social and cultural development. Starting in 2016, the courses have now expanded to cover the wider cultural, economic, historical, geo-political, social, scientific, and technological contexts within which sustainable urban development could be achieved.

Aiming to connect top research and best practice, the courses engages attendees in interactive lectures and workshops taught by leading experts at the University of Oxford and other leading UK universities, practitioners from the UK government, and key players in business and industry. The courses provide a global perspective on major aspects of contemporary and near-future urban development, with case studies that explore innovative practices balancing economic, environmental, and social aspects.

Additionally, the courses also offer opportunities for attendees to participate in research and practice-based projects to help tackle local challenges in locations where the Oxford Network for the Future of Cities has existing partnerships. In recent years, attendees were able to aid the public engagement of the University of Oxford’s museums by developing an innovative museum app, and help tackle major challenges for the implementation of the City of Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone and the roll-out of autonomous vehicles and drones as the City of Oxford continues to be an innovation capital and a living laboratory for smart development. The courses have also enriched attendees’ academic and professional experiences, whilst facilitating the fulfilment of their academic and career goals. Hundreds of talented students and professionals hailing from Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Oceania, and the Middle East have attended and benefitted.

The courses are provided in collaboration with Summit Education Enterprise (SEE), a leading Oxford-based education organisation. SEE is accredited by the British Accreditation Council as a Short Course Provider for Independent Further and Higher Education.

In 2021, we plan to offer the following summer courses:

The courses are normally held in-person at Christ Church College and other colleges within the University of Oxford. But due to the pandemic, we plan to offer the courses online, and resume in-person courses when it is safe to do so. We warmly welcome you to apply through the SEE application portal.

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