The Way We Live: how can our neighbourhoods be fit for 21st century living?

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Afternoon symposium 12:30-17:30 / Oxford Brookes University
Evening debate 18:00-20:00 / Oxford Old Town Hall




As towns and cities cope with ever greater demands on resources, great cities like Oxford need to show viable ways forward. In particular, they need to combine planned urban extensions with upgrading existing housing estates in ways that will cut travel and energy use whilst also offering exciting and unique places to live in. They are competing with the rest of the world for investment and so need to make the most of all their assets.

Drawing on the expertise and interests of The Academy of Urbanism, the Royal Society of Arts and Oxford Brookes University, this symposium will consider a range of ideas and case study examples and their relevance to a city where a shortage of housing has driven prices to eleven times the average income. We will also approach the wider context through neighbouring towns such as Bicester and Aylesbury, which are doubling in size to accommodate new housing.


The afternoon symposium will combine a series of short illustrated presentations with workshops led by experts. The topics will focus on different aspects of building housing in ways that are truly sustainable, and will test out the principles of ‘smarter growth’. Workshops will explore different aspects of housing issues around a number of themes.

The evening debate will take place in the Long Hall of Oxford’s Old Town Hall, and will be led by the RSA. It will revolve around presentations and a debate on the way we want to live in the 21st Century. Gary Young, a Partner at Farrells, will present a UK perspective.

The keynote presentation will be given by Honorary Academician Prof Wulf Daseking, who has directed the development of Academy award-winning Freiburg, a leading historic university town in South West Germany, and its exemplary urban extensions for over 25 years until his recent retirement. Freiburg won the Academy’s European City of the Year award in 2012.


The event will be led by The Academy of Urbanism and Oxford Brookes University. Pre-booking is essential. To book or enquire please contact Karen Hughes on: or 01865 483560

Please tell us which part of the event you wish to attend:

A) Symposium
B) Evening debate
C) Both sessions

A small charge of £20 will be made for refreshments at the afternoon symposium. As there are limited spaces booking forms must be returned by 17:00hrs on Tuesday 27 August 2013.


Image of Oxford by Wit, Flickr