Sustainable Urban Futures

Sustainable Urban Futures Residential

Applications have now closed for the Sustainable Urban Futures Residential at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. Information for students taking part in the 2023 programme follows.

Sustainable Urban Futures engages students as part of a team, designing and building a temporary “home” based on informal settlement shelters. They have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and work within budgets, designing and innovating to make the shelter a comfortable, practical space to live and work. On the final day, they take part in a mini-conference, sharing work, and hearing inspiring talks from design, making and sustainable development role models.

The programme provides tasters of a range of university degree subjects, from Engineering to Architecture, and how they contribute to  Sustainable Development, as well as giving students an insight into what it is like to studying at university.

Welcome to Sustainable Urban Futures

Congratulations on being invited to the Sustainable Urban Futures residential.  I would like to welcome you to Churchill College, where you will be staying from the 21st -25th August for the Sustainable Urban Futures residential.  Please make sure that you read our emails carefully and add to your safe senders to help ensure that our emails do not go to your spam folder.   Rachel is your point of contact. If you have any questions or about your visit please message her and she will get back to you.

Fill in the consent, travel and requirements

Please complete this form and return by 26th July 2023 to confirm your place on the residential.

Consent form


Sustainable Urban Futures Timeline

Timetable and Activities for the week (21st-25th August)

Sessions are sustainability focused and will include: Architecture, Archaeology, Design, Humanities, Engineering, STEM. There will also be trips off-campus to different Cambridge University departments, museums and points of interest

EDIT: Note, sessions will not start until later afternoon on Monday 21st to accomodate students who are travelling from far afield. Please aim to arrive in Cambridge 14:00-15:00 

Accommodation & Meals

  • Whilst you are staying with us at Churchill College, you will be staying in one of our undergraduate rooms – just like a real university student! This will include a single bed, all bedding (duvets, pillows and covers), towels and other furniture including drawers, a wardrobe, a desk and chair.  Your room may be an ensuite room or you may share a bathroom
  • All meals will be provided during your stay (breakfast,  lunch and dinner). You will not have access to a kitchen, so if you wish to bring or buy any additional snacks, please bear in mind they will need to be stored in the room in which you are staying (if not consuming immediately).
  • On the Wednesday night (23rd) students at various groups of colleges will be joining together for a “formal hall” – this is what Cambridge call a sit down meal that is served to you.  Students in Cambridge would normally dress slightly more smartly for these events but this just means no jeans and trainers usually.  However, if jeans and trainers is all you have that is absolutely fine!

Arrival & Departure Information

  • You will need to arrive at Churchill College between 12:00 and 13:00 on 21st August (no later than 13:00 – but don’t stress if you have travel problems, we’ll get you sorted out). Between this time we will register you as arrived, and give you a place to store your luggage. Please keep out a small(er) bag with anything you might need for the rest of the afternoon.
    • If you are travelling a distance that makes arrival by 12 noon on the 21st difficult for you please contact Rachel (
  • At 13:15, all students and undergraduate student helpers will gather in a designated location in the College for the session beginning at 13:45.
  • After the afternoon sessions, you will have a break when you will be able to collect your room key, get your luggage, drop that off into your room and head for dinner.
  • On your final day, you will need to clear out your room and hand your room key in by 8:30am. You can store luggage in College until you need to leave for home after the Friday sessions end at 15:00 pm. 


Travelling to and from Cambridge & Churchill College, and Travel Costs

Please wait for an email from SUF@Chu,,uk before buying any tickets – we would like to try and co-odinate travel where possible


The best way to travel to Cambridge is generally public transport, though this might vary slightly depending on where you are travelling from. Your travel costs will be covered in advance or reimbursed by the Sustainable Urban Futures Programme. A travel form will be provided on receipt of your completed consent form – this is to tell us details of your journey and submit reciepts.

Please think carefully about your journey, taking into account the time by which you need to not only be in Cambridge, but arrive at the college (details below) as well. This includes, for example, considering trains vs coaches – as travel costs will be covered, please take the best route (i.e. quickest) over the cheapest! If you want some advice please do not hesitate to contact us and ask!

We have a web page of detailed information here – How to find us – but we have summarised some of this below. The web page includes maps and helpful links for travel.

  • By Train

There are two train stations in Cambridge – the main station (CBG), and Cambridge North (CMB). We recommend that you travel to Cambridge! The “Universal” Bus goes from stop 8 at the train station to “Storey’s Way” stop which is very close to Churchill College. If you have a student card this usually costs £1 for a single from the station to the stop.

  • By Bus/Coach

Please see “travelling by public transport” on the college “How to find us” webpage.

  • By Car

Please see “travelling by car” on the college “How to find us” webpage.


Travel expenses

The cost of your travel will be reimbursed by the college if you have receipts and have booked in advance.  You must keep your travel receipts and bring them with you for reimbursement

  • If you are travelling by car then we will reimburse your journey using the mileage calculator on Google maps
  • If you are unable to pay for travel in advance please contact Rachel and the college will discuss how we may be able to help with this.

We hope all the above information is helpful for your planning. Please get in touch if you have any questions about the above or otherwise!


Pre-week assignment

This will focus on Sustainable Development and is intended to help you get the most out of your experience and support university subject choice exploration and applications. We estimate that it will take 1-2 hours to complete and will be a research-based task to answer questions about Sustainable Development and informal settlements.  More detail will be given toward the end of July.