Robert Cowley

Robert Cowley


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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    I am interested in urban sustainability initiatives as real-world experiments in both 'green' technology and future-oriented governance. Since joining King's, I have co-ordinated a three-year ESRC-funded research consortium looking at 'smart-eco city' initiatives in Europe and China, as well as led a project exploring potential dilemmas asociated with governing future human settlements on Mars.

    Before starting at King's in July 2015, I worked as Network Facilitator for the Leverhulme Trust-funded 'Tomorrow's City Today' international research network, co-ordinated by the University of Westminster. The project explored the implications of the recent rise in replicable urban sustainability frameworks around the world, and considered whether a process of the 'standardisation' of sustainable urban development is currently underway. I also provided research assistance within the International Eco-Cities Initiative at the University of Westminster between 2011 and 2014, co-authoring a series of publications on the topic of the eco-city. 



    Biographical details

    My first degree was in Medieval and Modern Languages and Literature, at the University of Oxford. After graduating, I taught English in Greece and then worked in the commercial world of market and social research before taking an MA in Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Westminster in 2010. My PhD project (also at the University of Westminster) explored the 'publicness' of the space through which eco-city initiatives are realised. I have taught and lectured at several universities internationally on the subject of urban sustainability, and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.



    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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