Oxford Forum for Sustainable Cities explored the state of the art and policy applications in sustainable urban development, drawing on the expertise of the leading experts in the field. With a clear interdisciplinary and sustainable development focus, the forum brought together practitioners, experts and policy makers form range of disciplines: regenerative cities, sustainable urbanism, renewable energy, sustainable transport, ecological economics, environmental sciences, geography, architecture, psychology, complex systems theory, etc. to address the current challenges: climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, water shortages, social cohesion and achieving sustainability in the urban context. At its source of inspiration, the forum had a range of ecological economic ideas, namely material balance approach, multidimensional assessment of sustainability, and thinking beyond GDP. Particular attention was paid to sustainable urbanism, green economy and new architecture in the context of London and beyond.
The important contributions to the forum were made by the leading urban sustainability thinkers and practitioners: Sustainable Cities: A Pathway towards a Regenerative City (Prof. Herbert Girardet, World Future Council); Green Capital of Europe (Dr Stefan Speck, European Environment Agency, Denmark). A Sustainable Transport System (Transport for London, UK), Multidimensional Sustainability Benchmarking for Megacities (Dr Stanislav Shmelev, Environment Europe, UK), Sustainable Urbanism (Prof. Bill Dunster, ZedFactory, UK), Development of Renewable Energy around the World: The Urban Trends (Prof. Dave Elliott, The Open University, UK), New and Sustainable Architecture (Foster and Partners, UK), Policies for a Sustainable London (Mayor of London’s Office, UK), Smart and Sustainable City, The View of the Industry (Siemens, Germany), Ecological Consciousness: Values, Attitudes and Decision Making (Prof. Irina Shmeleva, Institute of Sustainable Development Strategies), Operational Sustainability in the Corporate World (Price Waterhouse Coopers, UK).
A series of international interdisciplinary workshops focused on urban sustainability with a focus on London and St Petersburg – the second and the fourth largest cities in Europe. The two workshops held at the University of Oxford and St Petersburg State University gathered the leading specialists in urban design, environmental psychology, ecological economics, sustainable transport, renewable energy, material flows and waste management to discuss urban sustainability issues. A methodology for urban sustainability assessment has been developed. The workshops resulted in a special issue of the International Journal for Sustainable Development and a book, Sustainable Urban Development: an Interdisciplinary Approach.