Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities

What are we doing?
Cities all over the world face complex and rapidly evolving challenges, such as climate change, global migration flows, transnational governance demands, financial volatility, and expanding social inequalities. The Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities aims towards rethinking the city as a flexible and dynamic space that better responds to evolving circumstances.

Why is it important?
Existing political, socio-economic and technical lock-in and path dependencies involve high switching costs that reduce innovation in decision-making. Addressing these challenges requires ingenuity and versatility, whether in policymaking, investment decisions or everyday livelihoods. Yet, mainstream understandings of cities and how to transform them often derive from rigid concepts, models and practices about the urban environment.

How are we different?
Our focus on the ‘flexible city’ presents scholars, policymakers, investors and the public at large with an inherently interdisciplinary perspective and multi-faceted approach to question contemporary concepts, methodologies and policies towards urban change.

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Michael Keith

Professor Michael Keith

Director of COMPAS
Steve Rayner

Professor Steve Rayner

James Martin Professor of Science and Civilization


Ebru Soytemel

Dr Ebru Soytemel

James Martin Research Fellow


Michele Acuto

Dr Michele Acuto

Stephen Barter Fellow
Idalina Baptista

Dr Idalina Baptista

University Lecturer in Urban Anthropology
Igor Calzada

Dr Igor Calzada

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant