Jason Pomeroy is an award-winning architect, academic, author and TV presenter, regarded as one of the world’s thought leaders in sustainable design. He is the Founder of Singapore-based Pomeroy Studio, Jason Pomeroy Architects and Pomeroy Academy: sustainable urbanism, architecture, design, research and education firms. His career has included critically-acclaimed green cities, buildings and landscapes: from the microscale of the first zero-carbon house in Asia, to the macroscale of Indonesia’s ‘Silicon Valley’. Pomeroy has authored Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation (2020), Pod Off-Grid: Explorations into Low Energy Waterborne Communities (2016), The Skycourt and Skygarden: Greening the Urban Habitat (2014) and Idea House: Future Tropical Living Today (2011). He continues to raise cultural awareness of cities through his TV series Smart Cities 2.0, City Time Traveller, Futuropolis and City Redesign. He gained Bachelor and Master degrees from the Canterbury School of Architecture and the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from the University of Westminster.
CULTURE & SUSTAINABILITY
Culture is often overlooked in the discourse on sustainability, despite globalisation and modernisation often perceived as the disrupter to time-tested rituals and traditions that are often associated with culture and heritage. Pomeroy’s research provides a balanced understanding of the green agenda that goes beyond the triple bottom line to also include culture as a fourth pillar of sustainability and a means of enhancing economic and cultural value. He also explore ways in which time-tested traditions can be balanced with innovation; and provides insights into how indigenous practices can help retain local cultural identity.
In modern times, Design innovation for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) has been associated with technological and material innovations. Yet it has its roots in many cultures from the past. Pomeroy’s research explores DfMA and modularization through the urbanism lens – explaining the process in relation to dense urban environments, its applicability and potential design opportunities across different sectors / disciplines. He aims to break the stigma that ‘modular is monotonous’, and demonstrate that being climate responsive and adaptable via best practices in industry is essential for a greener planet.
SMART SYSTEMS, TECHNOLOGIES, CITIES
When one thinks of what a smart city or technology is, the natural inclination might be to imagine driver-less cars or the use of ‘Big Data as big brother’. Such a utopian (or dystopian) vision is largely based on technology. However, it is easy to overlook the important roles governance, culture and citizen co-creation play in enabling smart practices to take place. Pomeroy continues to meticulously study smart cities / strategies from around the world; investigating their unique characteristics, key smart innovations and ultimately ask whether such environments and their technologies really enhance our daily lives.
FUTURE CITIES, ‘VERTICAL URBANISM’
Population increase is leading to dramatic urbanisation, with an estimated 70 percent of people living in cities by 2050. Existing urban and architectural models struggle to accommodate the increased population or provide open/green spaces for recreation. Pomeroy’s research has led to his much publicised ‘vertical urban theory’ of future cities that starts to consider the qualities of the traditional city, but rotated in 90 degrees and explored vertically. Such futuristic visions are carefully mapped across social, economic, environmental, spatial, cultural and technological parameters for a greener future for cites.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE RACE TO ZERO
Achieving zero net emissions and seeking to stabilise the climate change-related impact of the built environment requires long-term planning, as well as a contextual sensitivity to people and place. Zero-carbon systems in the built environment have the ability to balance operational consumption and clean energy generation whilst considering the climate, culture, people and place. Pomeroy has researched time-tested design principles and new technologies for implementing zero carbon strategies in different climatic zones, and how such strategies can be scalable from the micro-scale of homes to the macro-scale of cities.
SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP FOR A GREENER FUTURE
Green leadership recognises the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and active listening to stakeholder values, as a means of creating more sustainable products and processes. Pomeroy articulates his process of investigating and identifying stakeholder’s value drivers across 4 spheres of influence (i.e. civil society, state, corporation, academia). He reveals, through case studies, different perceptions of the value drivers for a process or product from the built environment; as well as the mechanisms that enable greater value for the stakeholders and the opportunities for leaders to influence the broader system.
We are living in challenging times: climate change is an imminent threat to the future of our planet. Population increase is causing unprecedented congestion in our cities. Transmigration has exacerbated social inequalities. Culture has been eroded in the face of globalisation. And whilst we have shifted from a technological to a digital age, we need to ask whether our quest for technological advancement is really enhancing our lives. Such environmental, spatial, social, cultural, economic and technological issues manifest in our daily lives and necessitates a new culture of resilience to bring about systemic change.
Professor Jason Pomeroy is a Network Ambassador for the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), a globally influential Institute developing leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy. CISL is part of the University of Cambridge.
All CISL Network Ambassadors have been selected to champion our work in driving sustainable innovation across the world.
Jason is an alumnus of CISL’s Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment (IDBE) programme and has been supporting its continued delivery since 2018, including inputting into lectures on urbanism, running an annual week-long intensive design studio and supervising Master’s programme dissertation students.
More recently, Jason has acted as a tutor and faculty member on one of CISL’s customised Executive Education programmes, Shaping a Sustainable Future, since September 2020 and will be retained for our next cohort.
This 8-month programme includes two live week-long modules plus a number of assignments and a group project. In his role as tutor, Jason has worked with CISL staff to develop course content which fits with our curriculum, drawing on his practical perspective in relation to innovative sustainable projects. He has also led and mentored a group project on the programme.
Since 2020, the Pomeroy Academy has funded a scholarship to support ASEAN students in continuing their education at the University of Cambridge.
~ Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, September 2021
What differentiates Jason from other futurist and innovators is his background as one of the worlds’ leading green architect, whose research as an academic into zero carbon development, the role of skyrise greenery and cultural sustainability has found expression in his many books and TV series. This enables him to lead clients through a process that pinpoints the most prevalent issues impacting the built environment in order to narrate sustainable principles and deliver design solutions that provide positive change. He is a passionate, talented and innovative thinker with a proven global track record to convey compelling narratives through visual graphics and animations.
~ McKinsey & Company Inc.
Thank you for your participation at the 21st World Knowledge Forum. The feedbacks from the participants were exceptionally positive thanks to your creative insights and ideas even in this COVID-19 pandemic.
~ World Knowledge Forum