The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Mark Jones

mark jones phd
Title: "A Capability Analysis of Energy Justice in Informal Settlements: Dhaka’s slums as a case study”
Key Topics: energy justice, capability approach, slums

My working life prior to my DPU position comprised more than 30 years’ experience as an architect, culminating in 8 years as a Director of Architectus, one of Australia's leading architectural practices. During my professional life, I completed part-time Masters degrees in Management (University of Newcastle, Australia) and Business (University of Queensland). I left my profession in 2015 to undertake a Masters in Sustainable Urban Development at the University of Oxford, which I completed in 2017. My Oxford dissertation examined the potential benefits of solar power for slum dwellers in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

My Masters research exposed me to the challenges of providing equitable energy infrastructure in poorer countries. I am seeking to advance a theoretical framework in a relatively new area of scholarship, Energy Justice. This endeavour is being pursued through engagement with the broader literature across Social Justice, Environmental Justice and Capabilities Theory. Case studies involve field investigations in the urban slums of Dhaka, which mostly have informal connections to the national energy grid, impacting on residents’ capability to lead a life that they value. Energy justice includes principles around equitable access, health and safety, governance and environmental sustainability, amongst others.

A core focus of the DPU is stated as being ‘socially just and sustainable development in the global south’. My research seeks to make a meaningful contribution in this sphere.