Science of Cities Seminar Series

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The Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities together with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies and the Global Research Priority on Sustainable Cities were proud to relaunch the Science of Cities Seminars in the year 2017. The details from the 2016-17 academic year can be seen below

Seminars for Spring Term 2017


































Pete Masters,

MSF/Missing Maps Project


Steven Rose,

Birmingham City Council


Jeremy Morley,

Ordnance Survey


Stephanie Bricker,

British Geological Survey


Stephen Passmore,

The Ecological Sequestration Trust


Title of Talk

Putting the Most Vulnerable Cities on the Map 



Vital Cities



 Urban Research at Ordnance Survey



Urban Geology- the Foundation for Cities



Data, Systems Modelling and Resilient City-Regions




Pete Masters, MSF, 12/01/17

Missing Maps is a crowdsourced mapping project (, where 1000s of individuals dedicate hours of their time to tracing geographical features from satellite images. To an outside observer, it can look mind numbing, but these volunteers are providing NGOs and others with vital datasets that otherwise would not exist. For MSF, Missing Maps volunteers have directly contributed to the provision of occupational health services in Bangladesh, mass vaccination campaigns in the Democratic Republic of Congo, cholera readiness in Sierra Leone and much more.

Steve Rose, BCC, 19/01/17

In this talk, Steve explores the social, physical and environmental challenges the City of Birmingham faces. He illustrates inspirational examples of how to overcome these challenges from across the globe. Finally, he will weaves in opportunities for practical innovation, experimentation and collaboration as he proposes Birmingham as the field laboratory in setting out on a journey to become a leading Vital City.

Jeremy Morley, Ordnance Survey, 02/02/17

"Jeremy Morley is Chief Geospatial Scientist at Ordnance Survey. He has worked in geospatial research since the mid-90s, starting in the former Dept. Photogrammetry and Surveying at University College London before moving to the University of Nottingham in 2009 as Geospatial Science Theme Leader in the Nottingham Geospatial Institute. His early career covered topics in environmental Earth observation of the Greenland ice sheet and radar mapping of the British Isles’ terrain. From this base he moved into geographic information science, focusing on topics including crowd-sourcing and citizen science, open and interoperable geographical information services, and applications of geospatial science in fields from plant sciences to planetary mapping. At Ordnance Survey he leads the Research and Education team who carry out research and standards development in collaboration with universities and other research organisations, and promote spatial literacy and geospatial education from primary schools through to higher education." (LinkedIn, 2017)

Steph Bricker, British Geological Survey, 02/02/17

The pace of urbanisation is already overwhelming many cities, yet globally 60% of the area expected to be urban by 2030 hasn’t been built yet.  This brings big challenges and increased pressure on natural resources, space and services.  How can we use the urban underground space to create sustainable and resilient cities? The geosciences have an important, but often under-appreciated part to play in securing sustainable global cities and can support urban innovation and city performance, reduce our environmental footprint and ensure we are resilient to natural hazards such as flooding and ground instability. Urban geoscience research can help unlock the economic potential of the ground in our cities, to demonstrate the value of the services it provides, from provision of water, geothermal energy and building materials through to green infrastructure and human health.  At the heart of this approach lies a city-scale ground ‘model’ which allows us to understand and manage the multiple and complimentary uses of the ground to avoid potential conflicts and competition for space and function. Where the current geoscience approach to city planning is centred on hazards and constraints, the future focus for our cities also be should be one of geological value, opportunity and optimisation where the subsurface is the foundation of the city landscape.

 Stephanie leads the Urban Geoscience research programme at the British Geological Survey covering urban resilience, sustainable use of the urban subsurface, anthropogenic impacts and the provision of city ground models.  She is a Chartered hydrogeologist with experience across environmental regulation and research fields, specialising in urban groundwater systems. She is currently working with the Future Cities Catapult though a NERC Knowledge Exchange fellowship to enhance the use of environmental data for urban challenges. Stephanie is a founding member of Think Deep UK a group of built environment experts committed to creating resilient, sustainable and liveable cities through smart use of underground space.