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Future Cities: 2018 Conference Summary

The third annual Future Cities Conference took place on Thursday 12th July, 2018 at Jesus College in Cambridge.

The conference brought together academic experts from Cambridge, elsewhere in the UK and internationally with investors, advisers and policy decision makers around a core theme of "successful cities of the future". The conference looked at what makes cities successful and how technology can be used to improve how we design, develop, govern, travel and live in cities with a focus on transport, housing and wider property market issues.  


i. Keynote

ii. Speaker presentations

iii. PhD Fellowship Prizewinners



The Keynote speaker for Future Cities 2018 was Professor Chris Webster. He has a background in urban planning, computer science, economics and economic geography and is a leading urban theorist and spatial economic modeller.  He has published over 150 scholarly papers on the idea of spontaneous urban order and received over 20M pounds of grants for research and teaching and learning projects. Among his current research agenda is the pursuit of systematic evidence for the relationship between urban configuration (planned and spontaneous) and individual health. Professor Webster's full biography can be found on the Keynote Speaker page.

Professor Chris Webster's Keynote speech was titled 'Successful future cities: what can we really expect from smart city data and tech?’. It can be viewed below.


Speaker Presentations

Professor Calvin Jones, Professor of Economics and Director of Public Value Delivery at Cardiff Business School.
‘The Value of Places and People in a Digital World’

Rick Robinson, Digital Property and Cities Business Leader, Arup.
‘Building Smart Cities – as if people mattered’

Professor Carlo Ratti, Director of the MIT Senseable City Lab.
‘Senseable Cities’

Professor Colin Lizieri, Grosvenor Professor of Real Estate Finance, Head of The Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge.
‘Land, Property and Networks of Cities’

Gary Yardley, Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, Capco.
‘Future Cities: Re-Generation & Housing – where do the real issues lie?’

Dr Nicholas Falk, Executive Director, URBED Trust.
‘Transforming cities through affordable housing’

PhD Fellowship Prizewinners

The Future Cities project team would like to, once again, congratulate the winners of the 2018 PhD Fellowship competition:

James Pollard – ‘Mapping coastal flood risk in the world’s most vulnerable cities: a big data approach’
Tianren Yang – ‘Land Value Capture in Planned New Urban Centres’
Chris Blundell – 'The potential for, and benefits of, engineered housing
solutions to new garden communities’
Sam Cole – ‘Explaining Crime Variations Across the City: Methodologies for
Capturing Socially Cohesive Neighbourhood Processes’
Kevin Kay – ‘Radical density, privacy and interdependence in post-domestic housing: a prospective from the earliest urban settlements’
Alexander Taylor – ‘Spectrum Security in Future Cities’
Kaara Martinez – ‘Housing and Inclusion in the City: Possibilities in International Law’
Jennifer Chisholm – 'The Ecological Favela: Sustainable Development and the Right to Housing in Rio de Janeiro’

Their biographies and conference posters are available on the PhD Prize Fellows page.


In addition, we would like to congratulate two of our past winners who have successfully published papers that were an outcome of the Future Cities PhD Fellowship.

Simon Price, one of the 2016 prizewinners, produced a paper on '3D ground-use optimisation for sustainable urban development planning: A case-study from Earls Court, London, UK'. This publication can be accessed by clicking here.

Mingfei Ma, one of the 2016 prizewinners, has published a paper on 'Economic impacts of alternative greenspace configurations in fast growing cities: The case of Greater Beijing'. It can by accessed by clicking here.

CapcoThe Future Cities Conference was supported by London property firm Capital & Counties Properties Plc.



of Land Economy