Tuesday 5 January 2016

New Year and (almost) New School

The School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University was formed in September 2015 and brings together Real Estate, Planning, Urban Design, and Construction. The new School aims to address the dynamic challenges facing the built environment from an interdisciplinary base, giving our students and graduates a deep understanding of their chosen field and a broad perspective on the issues involved in planning, designing, constructing, using, maintaining, investing in, and managing high performing built environments.

Research activity within the new School is organised and conducted through five research groups: Spatial Planning, Urban Design, Impact Assessment, Real Estate & Land Policy, and Construction & Project Management which are all part of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development. Through its research the School aims to tackle the major challenges affecting the built environment such as climate change, resilience, energy efficiency, resource scarcity, infrastructure, investment, and productivity.

We now have three blogs telling our story:

Not Just Hard Hats
Planning and Urban Design
Hot Property 

And we are starting work on our new website (more in 2016).

Sue Brownill on Affordable Housing

One of the great things about being part of the new School of the Built Environment is the opportunity for sharing knowledge, ideas and opportunities:

SPARK is a seminar series designed to provide such opportunities for staff. The semester 1 sessions finished at the beginning of December with a presentation from Sue Brownill on affordable housing. The other presentations from Semester 1 (2015-2016):
  • Opportunities for cross-pollination in teaching, learning and research (Esra KurulLaura Azevedo and Sally Sims)
  • Social sustainability of urban neighbourhoods (Reza Shirazi)
  • Flipped teaching and e-marking (Jo Stringer and Sally Sims)
  • Vu-Q research on visual qualities of urban spaces (Jon Cooper)
  • The potential of BIM applications in the building life cycle - a practical dimension (Henry Oti)
  • Embracing conceptual shifts in teaching and learning (Regina Lim, Jon Cooper and Laura Azevedo)
  • CycleBoom research project (CycleBoom)
  • University briefing on teaching and learning (Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development)

The strong research links across the subject areas within the new School have led to a successful research project bid to the ESRC for the UK-Brazil Collaborative Research call on Healthy Urban Living. The successful bid was led by Tim Jones as principal investigator with Ramin Keivani, Sue Brownhill and Georgia Butina Watson as co-investigators. The grant incorporates a multi-disciplinary partnership between Oxford Brookes and the Universities of Brasilia, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul focusing on healthy urban mobility and well-being. More about this exciting project in a future post.

It also means that we can share our Christmas Party...

Joe Tah (Head of School) welcoming staff to the School of the Built Environment Christmas Party

For more photos take a look at the Christmas Party Album on our Facebook page.

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