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Department of Geography



Global Energy Nexus in Urban Settlements (GENUS)


Aims of the research group

This new, inter-disciplinary, research group was set up in 2017. It spans four departments in Cambridge (Geography, Engineering, Architecture and the Judge Business School) and three Schools.

We have two core aims:

1. Conducting research on sustainable and innovative forms of energy for urban dwellers.

We respond to widespread knowledge that the world faces an energy crisis (i.e. natural resources cannot cope with rapidly evolving forms of energy demand). This is particularly acute in both the existing and emerging urban areas of Africa and Asia. Recognising that existing academic and policy debates on urban energy largely focus on city-scale responses to climate change, this research group targets the consumer side of reliable and clean energy provision, in particular the energy demands of low income urban households. See Research projects for more information.

2. Implementing an interdisciplinary approach to research that both values and critiques disciplinary difference.

Methodologically our research group adopts an integrated socio-technical approach that recognises the technology of energy as embedded in social relations, and implements this approach by combining expertise from the physical and social sciences.

Alongside practicing an inter-disciplinary approach to our research on urban energy, we are also committed to critiquing assumptions that interdiscplinarity is universally beneficial, while also developing models that address the practicalities of interdisciplinary research.