Oxford Summer School in Ecological Economics 2019

25-31 August

Smart and Sustainable Cities: Ecosystems, Economy, Policy

St Hugh’s College, Oxford

The United Nations projects that 68% of global population will live in cities by 2050. This means that we urgently need a new strategic direction for greening our cities and making them smart to reduce the environmental impact of their performance, increase employment and economic viability, and to enhance the quality of life. Such a task requires a thorough assessment of sustainability and smart urban performance to establish areas of improvement, understand the inter-sectoral connections, find and neutralise the most important drivers of CO2 emissions, establish which policies, design approaches and transformations could be most successful to make our cities more sustainable.

The School will address key elements of the new economy transformation, exploring the cutting edge methods and policy applications in ecological economics. With a clear sustainable development focus, it will draw on the expertise of a range of disciplines: economics, ecology, physics, environmental sciences, sociology, psychology, complex systems theory, etc. to address the current challenges: climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, water shortages, social cohesion and achieving sustainability. The course will be composed of a theoretical and applied modules and will address three key elements of the new economy transformation: an industrial ecology approach, multiple criteria methods for decision making and new tools for measuring progress. A particular focus of this forum will be on the synergies between smart and sustainable dimensions in the urban context and how smart technologies could enhance in the urban sustainability performance.

In the theoretical part, it will analyse the concept of economy-environment interactions and industrial ecology, which highlights the importance of intersectoral flows of matter and energy required for the production of the goods and services. The method of environmentally extended input-output analysis, actively used for policy applications around the world, will be introduced to illustrate this approach. Ideas of interdisciplinary synthesis and methodological pluralism will be introduced alongside institutional economic approaches. Next, it will explore the system of tools for decision making based on multicriteria methods, used for policy appraisal, which applied at different levels could shift the patterns of decisions making towards more socially equitable and more environmentally friendly as well as economically sound decisions. Acting as a bridge to the policy module, the final theoretical session will criticise existing approaches to measure macro sustainability performance and will introduce new conceptual tools for the assessment of progress. A particular attention will be paid to ecosystems, the impacts of the economy on the ecosystems and alternative ecosystem services assessment and valuation techniques in the urban context.

The applied module will be taught by active professionals and experts, who advise international organizations, national and city governments around the world and have experience working with EU institutions. The School will draw on the EU experience of environmental policy and will focus in its applied part on green fiscal reform, climate change, renewable energy, multidimensional poverty measurement, smart and sustainable cities and values. The scope of sustainability issues addressed during the Summer School, covering not only economic and environmental, but also social sustainability, will make this Summer School truly unique. Our very special guest this year will be Mr Raf Tuts of United Nations HABITAT with a talk on the New Urban Agenda and a visit to the Mayor of London office accompanied with a tour of leading Foster and Partners architectural studio.

The course is designed for multiple points of entry and could be helpful for PhD students, government experts, representatives of international organizations and business. The course will give participants an opportunity to explore key methodologies for ecological-economic analysis and to apply these to various case studies. Oxford Summer and Winter Schools in Ecological Economics organized by Environment Europe attracted participants from 55 countries, including Canada, USA, Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Iceland, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Latvia, Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, China, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. (please see the map).

The course is taught by the leading ecological economists, environmental policy and sustainable urban development experts in Europe.

Introduction to Ecological Economics (Dr Stanislav Shmelev, Environment Europe, UK, confirmed)

The New Urban Agenda: UN HABITAT (Raf Tuts, UN HABITAT, confirmed)

Multi-Criteria Decision Aid for Sustainable Development: ELECTRE, NAIADE, APIS (Dr Stanislav Shmelev, Environment Europe, UK, confirmed)

The New Sustainable Urbanism (Dhiru Thadani, AIA, ISOCARP, confirmed)

Cities and Ecosystems Services: A Pathway towards a Regenerative City (Prof. Herbert Girardet, The Club of Rome & World Future Council, confirmed)

City Poverty Indexes: Participatory Approaches to Leave No One Behind (John W. Taylor, UNDP, confirmed)

Building a Low-Carbon Society Today (Bill Dunster, OBE, confirmed)

Smart and Sustainable Cities: the Oxford Experience (Tony Hart , Government of Oxford, confirmed)

Input-Output Analysis and the Environment (Dr Stanislav Shmelev, Environment Europe, UK, confirmed)

Ecological Conflicts around the World through the Prism of Ecological Economics (Prof. Joan Martinez-Alier, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, to be confirmed)

Global Urban Sustainability Assessment (Dr Stanislav Shmelev, Environment Europe, UK, confirmed)

Renewable Energy Transitions: the Path to Success (Prof. Dave Elliott, The Open University, confirmed)

People, Values and Sustainable Development (Prof. Irina Shmeleva, Institute of Sustainable Development Strategies, confirmed)

The Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design (Lord Foster's Office, Foster and Partners, UK, confirmed)

Green Economy Policies in the London Metropolis (Mr Peter Massini, Mayor of London Office, confirmed)

Empirical Assessment of Environmental Policy: the Carbon Tax (Dr Stanislav Shmelev, Environment Europe, UK, confirmed)

Simulations Game

The requirements for the School are the following:

1. After you have successfully registered for the Summer School, you will receive access to the required readings. You will also receive access to over 100 seminal papers in ecological economics, which will provide a useful background reading in sustainability.

2. Each participant will have to prepare a presentation about his or her background (brief) and project (in more detail) so that all the course participants could get acquainted with you and your work better. The presentation should take 15 min and will be given on the first day of the course.

3. Each participant will be required to develop an independent or a collaborative project and present the preliminary results: methodology, data, key research questions, anticipated conclusion, including the sources of possible surprises, non-linearities and unpredictable behaviour. It is recommended to acquire the following textbooks:

Shmelev, S.E., ed. (2019) 'Sustainable Cities Reimagined: Multidimensional Assessment and Smart Solutions', Routledge:


Shmelev, S. E., ed. (2017) 'Green Economy Reader', Springer https://www.amazon.co.uk/Green-Economy-Reader-Ecological-Sustainability/dp/3319389173/

Shmelev, S. E. (2012) 'Ecological Economics: Sustainability in Practice', Springer https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ecological-Economics-Sustainability-Stanislav-Shmelev/dp/940071971X/

Application Deadline: 01 August 2019. Application fee £25 (via PayPal - please insert the PayPal Transaction ID in the relevant field).

Deadline for early registrations: 1 July 2019, Registration fees:
PhD students (proof is required): £1475
National and city governments, NGOs, Assistant and Associate Professors: £1975
Business, International Organizations and Full Professors: £2475
(Accommodation at St Hugh's college is included, lunches and coffee will be provided)

Deadline for late registrations: 1 August 2019, Registration fees:
PhD students (proof is required): £1975
National and city governments, NGOs, Assistant and Associate Professors: £2475
Business, International Organizations, Full Professors: £2975

(Accommodation at St Hugh's college is included, lunches and coffee will be provided)

Environment Europe alumni will be eligible for a £100 discount. Please make sure that bank transfer fees are included in your transfer so that we receive the correct amount.

You are most welcome to apply. Please note that registration fees cannot be refunded.

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Apply to our new Oxford Summer School in Ecological Economics
25-31 August

Shmelev S.E (2012)

Ecological Economics: Sustainability in Practice

Ecological Economics: Sustainability in Practice
Shmelev S.E,Shmeleva I. A. (2012)

Sustainability Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Sustainability Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Annie Griffiths,National Geographic (2014)

Stunning Photographs

Stunning Photographs
Shmelev S.E (2017)

Green Economy Reader. Lectures in Ecological Economics and Sustainability

Green Economy Reader. Lectures in Ecological Economics and Sustainability
Shmelev S.E (2018)



Dr Stanislav Shmelev

Director Dr Stanislav Shmelev

Dr Irena Michalowska

Program Director Dr Irena Michalowska