Sustainable urban growth
I am interested in the processes by which urban growth happens, specifically including the translation from the broad policy objectives of “higher” tiers of government (whether European, national or regional) into local outputs; the exercise of power to influence the planning system; and how "sustainable" is interpreted in different ways in different places and by different people. I have co-authored a book on green belts and written several papers and a book chapter looking at this topic in England, Europe, India and China. I am Director of the centre for Sustainable and Resilient Cities (SaRC) at Liverpool.
Localism, decentralisation and devolution are changing the way planning happens around the world, perhaps most radically in England, where the 2011 Localism Act gives communities the power to prepare their own plans - "Neighbourhood Plans". I have explored how these new powers are being taken up, including exploring the initial view that they would be more popular in areas with a wealthier local population, and am now investigating whether Neighbourhood Planning can be used in a progressive way, particularly in urban areas.
Developing learning and teaching in planning
I have carried out several research projects into how the teaching of planning can better reflect the needs and demands of today's students, who are "training" to be professional planners in a complex world. These have been inspired by the MA in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education which I have recently completed. I have published one paper on this and have a second in preparation.
Research Group Membership
Neighbourhood plans in the North West Region
ROYAL TOWN PLANNING INSTITUTE (UK)
January 2017 - June 2017
Urban and Community Transformation KE Fellow appointment
N8 INDUSTRY INNOVATION FORUM (N8 IIF) (UK)
September 2015 - January 2016
Pioneers in Urban- Rural Entrepeneurship Hub
June 2012 - May 2015