Michael is Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for civic engagement at the University of Liverpool and Ambassador for the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice. He has acted as adviser on urban affairs to the European Commission, the European Parliament, OECD, EUROCITIES, the Department of Communities and Local Government, the National Audit Office, the House of Commons Select Committees, the Core Cities and a range of cities in the UK and Europe. He is currently a Board member of the Prime Ministers Regeneration Investment Organisation, a Trustee of the Centre for Cities, of Alternative Futures Group and of Procure Plus Group.
Michael led CLG’s expert panel on Regeneration and Economic Development Analysis until 2010. He was Director of the ESRC’s Programme on CITIES: Cohesion and Competitiveness, a major five-year research programme involving 25 Universities. He has generated over £8m in research funds to assess the development of cities, urban policy and regeneration in the UK and Europe. He lectures extensively nationally and internationally and is a regular contributor to the media. He was made Commander of the British Empire for services to urban regeneration in 2007. He was made Citizen of Honour of Liverpool in 2016.
Michael wrote ‘Liverpool on the Brink’ in 1985. His career has been partly devoted to showing how much the city has changed for the better since then. He recently produced ‘Albert Dock: What Part in Liverpool’s Continuing Renaissance?’, ‘Liverpool Elected Mayor: An Independent Assessment’ and ‘The State of Liverpool City Region: Making the Most of Devolution’ (2016). Previously he produced for the ESRC a major report ‘UK City Regions in the Boom and Recession’ (2014) and for the European Commission ‘Second Tier Cities in Europe: In an Age of Austerity Why Invest beyond the Capitals?’ (2012).
He completed in 2010 a major study of the impact of the recession ’The Credit Crunch, Recession, Regeneration, and the North’. This updated his original report to government in 2009 ‘The Credit Crunch and Regeneration: Impact and Implications.’ He produced the ‘State of the English Cities’ Report in 2006 for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister - the authoritative analysis of cities in Britain.