Robert Cowley completed his PhD thesis on ‘Eco-Cities: Technological Showcases or Public Spaces’ in 2015, supervised by Prof Simon Joss and Dr Daniel Greenwood. His project examined the socio-political dimensions of urban sustainability, with a special focus on the place of the ‘public’ in planned and implemented eco-city initiatives, and included fieldwork in Portland, Oregon (USA) and Sejong City (South Korea).
He is now associated with the International Eco-Cities Initiative as a post-doctoral Research Fellow. He was previously the Network Facilitator of the three-year Leverhulme-funded international research network ‘Tomorrow’s City Today: An International Comparison of Eco-City Frameworks’, and took part in the 2012 'Tomorrow’s City Today' conference in Bellagio. He worked on the EU-funded FP7 ‘GAVA’ initiative, developing postgraduate curricula on the theme of ‘Governance for Sustainable Development’. He has given talks and lectures on the subject of urban sustainability at various universities internationally.
Robert’s first degree was in Modern Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford. After graduating, he taught English abroad and then worked in the commercial world of market and social research, before taking an MA in Urban and Regional Planning at Westminster in 2010.