skip to content

Cambridge Real Estate Research Centre

Future Cities Programme unveiled by The University of Cambridge supported by Capco

The University of Cambridge has launched a new three-year research and fellow programme led by the Department of Land Economy on the topic of ‘Future Cities’. The programme, supported by London property company Capital and Counties Properties PLC (Capco), comprises an annual conference, a visiting fellowship by an expert in the field, and a grant for eight postgraduate fellows to conduct bespoke research on issues shaping future cities and related policy.

The inaugural Future Cities Conference will take place on 29th June at the University; the first of the three-year-long programme focusing on the challenges and opportunities for cities. The Conference will tackle subjects such as the impact of technology on cities, high-rise living and density, resilience to climate change, and what makes cities and developments work well in terms of “happiness”.  Speakers will include Lord (Chris) Smith, Professors Paul Cheshire, Philip McCann and Catharine Ward-Thompson. 

The three-year Future Cities Programme brings together several disciplines of academic research, examining how design, development and governance can contribute towards a thriving 21st Century city as urban populations increase.

In the lead up to the annual international Conference, the Future Cities Programme has awarded the Capco Visiting Fellowship to Professor Edward Ng, who will spend a fortnight in the Department this year developing ideas and building research networks with a focus on sustainable architecture and design.  Professor Edward Ng will also deliver a keynote at the international Conference this June.

The Programme also supports some of the best postgraduate talent from the University to develop research papers on subjects such as the power of technology and design in shaping future cities to meet social, economic and environmental aims. Eight PhD students were awarded the Prize Fellowships in 2015, following a competition held by the University. Their work will be presented at the Conference in June. 

Commenting on the programme, Professor Phil Allmendinger, Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge, said

We are delighted to be taking forward this initiative to build on the strength of research and research networks in Cambridge on thinking about Future Cities and we are very grateful for the donations from Capital and Counties Properties PLC that have helped facilitate this.”

Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Capital and Counties Properties PLC, said

Successful cities must continue to plan, evolve and adapt in order to keep growing, and the combination of talent and innovation have an important role to play in this. As proud investors in London we are delighted to support the Future Cities programme. Not only will this research shine a spotlight on significant topics which underpin the cities in which many of us live, but also enables the next generation of thinkers to bring forward ideas, such as the transformative future power of technology, that will influence the years ahead.”


To find out more about the Future Cities Programme please visit the Future Cities web pages.



Notes to Editors:

About the Annual Visiting Fellowship

Professor Edward Ng will be the Visiting Fellow under the Future Cities programme – and will come back to Cambridge in June (he did his PhD in Cambridge) to share his expertise and build relationships with Cambridge researchers and beyond.  Professor Ng is Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and is the Associate Director of the Institute of Future Cities.  He specializes in Green Building, Environmental and Sustainable Design, and Urban Climatology for City Planning.  He has works as a consultant to a number of Governments across Asia and is collaborating with public health colleagues to investigate the impact of city design and climate change on urban living.   Professor Ng has published over 400 papers and 3 books. He has twice received the International Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He has also twice been honoured by the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Jury Commendation for Innovation Award.

 About University of Cambridge

The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. To date, 90 affiliates of the University have won the Nobel Prize.

Founded in 1209, the University comprises 31 autonomous Colleges, which admit undergraduates and provide small-group tuition, and 150 departments, faculties and institutions.

Cambridge is a global university. Its 19,000 student body includes 3,700 international students from 120 countries. Cambridge researchers collaborate with colleagues worldwide, and the University has established larger-scale partnerships in Asia, Africa and America.

The University sits at the heart of one of the world’s largest technology clusters. The ‘Cambridge Phenomenon’ has created 1,500 hi-tech companies, 14 of them valued at over US$1 billion and two at over US$10 billion. Cambridge promotes the interface between academia and business, and has a global reputation for innovation.

About the Department of Land Economy

The Department of Land Economy is a leading international centre, providing a full programme of taught courses within an intensive, research-oriented environment. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, 50% of the Department's research work was described as "World Leading" and a further 38% as "Internationally Excellent".

The Department currently has over 40 teaching and research staff and approximately 320 students and addresses contemporary problems as well as more fundamental analysis. This includes both the role of  governments in establishing regulatory frameworks within which land and related  markets operate and the role of private organisations in owning, managing and developing physical and financial assets within those markets. This combination gives the Department of Land Economy a unique and valuable perspective of critical public and private issues.

About Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco)

Capital & Counties Properties PLC is one of the largest investment and development property companies that specialises in central London real estate and is a constituent of the FTSE-250 Index. Capco’s assets are valued at £3.7 billion1 (as at 31 December 2015) in two landmark London estates: Covent Garden, including the historic Market Building, and Earls Court Properties including the Empress State Building together with the Venues business. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

1. Group share



Follow us on Twitter

Tweets by @CambridgeLandEc


APPLICATIONS are now closed for the MSt in Real Estate 2021.

The 2022 course prospectus is available to download now CLICK HERE and applications will open on 1st September 2021.