May 07, 2014
from 01:15 PM to 02:15 PM
|Where||Classroom, Department of Architecture|
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What happens when a visionary, radical concept such as the ‘eco-city’ enters mainstream policy-making globally? Should its proliferation be interpreted optimistically, or has its transformative potential necessarily been diluted? Does its lack of ‘standardisation’ leave it open to abuse, or has this encouraged diversity and experimentation? This talk draws on empirical research conducted over the last five years into contemporary eco-city initiatives around the world. The findings support various critical perspectives on the phenomenon, but also offer some cause for hope in a situation characterised by uncertainty.
Robert Cowley works as a visiting lecturer and researcher in the International Eco-Cities Initiative at the University of Westminster. He is conducting his own doctoral research into the socio-political dimensions of urban sustainability, with a special focus on the ‘public’ dimensions of planned and implemented initiatives. He has co-authored several publications and lectured at several universities internationally on the topic of the eco-city.