River from above

Research Activity

Like many of our faculty-level research themes, the theme of Sustainable and Resilient Cities cannot appropriately be confined to the domain of the humanities or the social sciences alone. On the contrary, many of the sustainability and resilience challenges that cities face today are challenges that will only be addressed by drawing on the expertise of planners, geographers and engineers; or by harnessing the insights of psychologists or public health specialists.

The University is a centre of research excellence in this area, attracting over £3.5m worth of research funding in the past five years from a wide range of external funders – encompassing not only the big UK research councils, but also national government bodies, charities, and various European and international funders.

The university is also a significant source of academic output in this area, with over 250 publications authored by over 150 members of academic staff – within the past five years alone – that fall within the parameters of the Sustainable and Resilient Cities theme. Amongst these publications can be counted dozens of book chapters and conference papers, around a dozen books, and over 175 academic journal articles published in over 130 different journals. The majority of these journals, moreover, are ranked among the top academic journals in their field: a measure both of the academic quality of the university’s output in this area, and also its academic impact.

As the selected overview of publications below illustrates, our research in this field is helping to lead debate on a range of issues that are salient to contemporary urban policy – including the built and natural environment of cities, the inequalities that affect the inhabitants of urban areas, and the changing nature of 21st century urban life itself. The fact that our academic output in this area is spread evenly across the three university faculties reflects both the importance of these issues in policy terms and the formidable strength and depth, in terms of research expertise, that the university has to offer.

Recent Publications


Boland, P., Murtagh, B. and Shirlow, P. (2019) 'Fashioning a City of Culture: ‘Life and Place Changing’ or ‘12 month Party’?', International Journal of Cultural Policy, 25 (2), pp. 246-265.

Carmichael, L., Townshend, T.G., Fischer, T.B., Lock, K., Petrokofsky, C., Sheppard, A., Sweeting, D. and Ogilvie, F. (2019) 'Urban Planning as an Enabler of Urban Health: Challenges and Good Practice in England Following the 2012 Planning and Public Health Reforms', Land Use Policy, 84, pp. 154-162.

Chen, M., Arribas-Bel, D. and Singleton, A. (2019) 'Understanding the Dynamics of Urban Areas of Interest Through Volunteered Geographic Information', Journal of Geographical Systems, 21 (1), pp. 89-109.

Coleman, R. (2019) 'Surveillance as an Urban Way of Life', in Z. Krajina & D. Stevenson (eds), The Routledge Companion to Urban Media and Communication. London: Routledge.

Daras, K., Green, M.A., Davies, A., Barr, B. and Singleton, A. (2019) 'Open Data on Health-Related Neighbourhood Features in Great Britain', Scientific Data, 6 (1), p. 107.

Dockerill, B., Koksal, C. and Zheng, W. (2019) 'China’s New Urban Agenda: An International Dialogue on Sustainable Development', Town Planning Review, 90 (3), pp. 321-325.

Dockerill, B. and Sturzaker, J. (2019) 'Green Belts and Urban Containment: the Merseyside Experience', Planning Perspectives, pp. 1-26.

Dong, G., Wolf, L., Alexiou, A. and Arribas-Bel, D. (2019) 'Inferring Neighbourhood Quality with Property Transaction Records by Using a Locally Adaptive Spatial Multi-Level Model', Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 73, pp. 118-125.

Kenawy, E., Shaw, D. and Osman, T. (2019) 'Exploring the Challenges for Effective Spatial Planning in New Urban Development: The Case of Ecotourism in Egypt', in S. Attia, Z. Shafik & A. Ibrahim (eds), New Cities and Community Extensions in Egypt and the Middle East: Visions and Challenges. Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 113-138.

Liu, Q., Wang, S., Zhang, W., Li, J. and Dong, G. (2019) 'The Effect of Natural and Anthropogenic Factors on PM2.5: Empirical Evidence from Chinese Cities with Different Income Levels', Science of The Total Environment, 653, pp. 157-167.

Mell, I. and Clement, S. (2019) 'Rethinking Urban Nature: The Rise and Value of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in Europe',  Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning.

Stubbings, P., Peskett, J., Rowe, F. and Arribas-Bel, D. (2019) 'A Hierarchical Urban Forest Index Using Street-Level Imagery and Deep Learning', Remote Sensing, 11 (12).

Thompson, M. (2019) 'Playing with the Rules of the Game: Social Innovation for Urban Transformation', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 43 (6), pp. 1168-1192.

Verdini, G. and Russo, E. (2019) 'The Chinese in Southern Europe: Has urban regeneration addressed their new form of clustering?', Documents d’Anàlisi Geogràfica, 65 (1), pp. 163-184.

Yu, X. and Fischer, T.B. (2019) 'Sustainability Appraisal in Neighbourhood Planning in England', Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 62 (6), pp. 939-959.


Arribas-Bel, D. and Bakens, J. (2018) 'Use and Validation of Location-Based Services in Urban Research: An Example with Dutch Restaurants', Urban Studies, 56 (5), pp. 868-884.

Coleman, R. (2018) 'The Synoptic City: State, ‘Place’ and Power', Space and Culture, 22 (1), pp. 19-33.

Corcoran, R., Mansfield, R., de Bezenac, C., Anderson, E., Overbury, K. and Marshall, G. (2018) 'Perceived Neighbourhood Affluence, Mental Health and Wellbeing Influence Judgements of Threat and Trust on our Streets: An Urban Walking Study', PLOS ONE, 13 (8), p. e0202412.

Dembski, S. (2018) 'New Planning Approaches in the Netherlands: How Urban Development is Reinventing Itself', Geographische Rundschau, 70 (3), pp. 14-19 

Dolowitz, D.P., Bell, S. and Keeley, M. (2018) 'Retrofitting Urban Drainage Infrastructure: Green or Grey?', Urban Water Journal, 15 (1), pp. 83-91.

Engelsman, U., Rowe, M. and Southern, A. (2018) 'Community Land Trusts, Affordable Housing and Community Organising in Low-Income Neighbourhoods', International Journal of Housing Policy, 18 (1), pp. 103-123.

Fischer, T.B., Jha-Thakur, U., Fawcett, P., Clement, S., Hayes, S. and Nowacki, J. (2018) 'Consideration of Urban Green Space in Impact Assessments for Health', Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 36 (1), pp. 32-44.

Gerritse, M. and Arribas-Bel, D. (2018) 'Concrete Agglomeration Benefits: Do Roads Improve Urban Connections or Just Attract More People?', Regional Studies, 52 (8), pp. 1134-1149.

McDonald, C., Buckley, P.J., Voss, H., Cross, A.R. and Chen, L. (2018) 'Place, Space and Foreign Direct Investment into Peripheral Cities', International Business Review, 27 (4), pp. 803-813.

Mell, I.C. (2018) 'Greening Ahmedabad: Creating a Resilient Indian City Using a Green Infrastructure Approach to Investment', Landscape Research, 43 (3), pp. 289-314.

Paton, K. (2018) 'Beyond Legacy: Backstage Stigmatisation and ‘Trickle-Up’ Politics of Urban Regeneration', The Sociological Review, 66 (4), pp. 919-934.

Rana, I.A. and Bhatti, S.S. (2018) 'Lahore, Pakistan – Urbanization Challenges and Opportunities', Cities, 72, pp. 348-355.

Savirimuthu, J. and Subramanian, S. (2018) 'Notes from the Frontier of the Sensor City', International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 32 (2-3), pp. 207-209.

Schiek, D. and Gideon, A. (2018) 'Outsmarting the Gig-Economy through Collective Bargaining – EU Competition Law as a Barrier to Smart Cities?', International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 32 (2-3), pp. 275-294.

Wang, Y. and Shaw, D. (2018) 'The Complexity of High-Density Neighbourhood Development in China: Intensification, Deregulation and Social Sustainability Challenges', Sustainable Cities and Society, 43, pp. 578-586.

Wang, Y., Shaw, D. and Yuan, K. (2018) 'Gated Neighborhoods, Privatized Amenities and Fragmented Society: Evidence from Residential Experience and Implications for Urban Planning', Sustainability, 10 (11).

Wu, Z. and Zhang, Y. (2018) 'Spatial Variation of Urban Thermal Environment and Its Relation to Green Space Patterns: Implication to Sustainable Landscape Planning', Sustainability, 10 (7).


Bhatti, S.S., Tripathi, N.K., Nagai, M. and Nitivattananon, V. (2017) 'Spatial Interrelationships of Quality of Life with Land Use/Land Cover, Demography and Urbanization', Social Indicators Research, 132 (3), pp. 1193-1216.

Campbell, P., Cox, T. and O’Brien, D. (2017) 'The Social Life of Measurement: How Methods have Shaped the Idea of Culture in Urban Regeneration', Journal of Cultural Economy, 10 (1), pp. 49-62.

Campbell, P. and O'Brien, D. (2017) 'Whatever Happened to the Liverpool Model? Urban Cultural Policy in the Era after Urban Regeneration', in M. Bevir, K. McKee & P. Matthews (eds), Decentring Urban Governance: Narratives, Resistance and Contestation. Abingdon: Routledge.

Cheng, H., Liu, Y., He, S. and Shaw, D. (2017) 'From Development Zones to Edge Urban Areas in China: A Case Study of Nansha, Guangzhou City', Cities, 71, pp. 110-122.

Corcoran, R., Mansfield, R., Giokas, T., Hawkins, A., Bamford, L. and Marshall, G. (2017) 'Places Change Minds: Exploring the Psychology of Urbanicity Using a Brief Contemplation Method', SAGE Open, 7 (2), p. 2158244017707004.

Davoudi, S. and Sturzaker, J. (2017) 'Urban Form, Policy Packaging and Sustainable Urban Metabolism', Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 120, pp. 55-64.

Dembski, S., Schulze Bäing, A. and Sykes, O. (2017) 'What about the Urban Periphery? The Effects of the Urban Renaissance in the Mersey Belt', Comparative Population Studies - Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, 42 (219-244).

Engelsman, U., Rowe, M. and Southern, A. (2017) 'The Tyranny of Research? Urban Regeneration, Ethnography, and the Problem of Unintended Consequences', Community Development, 48 (4), pp. 582-596.

Mell, I., Allin, S., Reimer, M. and Wilker, J. (2017) 'Strategic Green Infrastructure Planning in Germany and the UK: a Transnational Evaluation of the Evolution of Urban Greening Policy and Practice', International Planning Studies, 22 (4), pp. 333-349.

Motta, W. (2017) 'Geomedia, Networked Cities and the Politics of Urban Space', European Journal of Communication, 32 (4), pp. 387-391.

North, P., Nurse, A. and Barker, T. (2017) 'The Neoliberalisation of Climate? Progressing Climate Policy Under Austerity Urbanism', Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 49 (8), pp. 1797-1815.

Nurse, A. (2017) 'City Centre Regeneration to Drive Economic Competitiveness? The Case Study of Liverpool ONE', LHI Journal of Land, Housing and Urban Affairs, 8, pp. 91-102.

Nurse, A. and Fulton, M. (2017) 'Delivering Strategic Economic Development in a Time of Urban Austerity: European Union Structural Funds and the English City Regions', Local Economy, 32 (3), pp. 164-182.

Singleton, A.D., Spielman, S. and Folch, D. (2017) Urban Analytics. London: Sage.

Sturzaker, J. and Verdini, G. (2017) 'Opposition and Resistance: Governance Challenges Around Urban Growth in China and the UK', Journal of Urban Management, 6 (1), pp. 30-41.

Sykes, O. and Nurse, A. (2017) 'Cities and Regional Development in England. A Carnival of Scales and Regionalisms?', Pôle Sud, 46 (1), pp. 79-96.

Patterson, L., Heller, R., Robinson, J., Birt, C.A., van Ameijden, E., Bocsan, I., White, C., Skalkidis, Y., Bothra, V., Onyia, I., Hellmeier, W., Lyshol, H., Gemmell, I., Spencer, A., Klumbiene, J., Krampac, I., Rajnicova, I., Macherianakis, A., Bourke, M., Harrison, A. and Verma, A. (2015) 'Developing a European Urban Health Indicator System: Results of EURO-URHIS 1', European Journal of Public Health, 27 (suppl_2), pp. 4-8.

Pennington, A., Dreaves, H., Scott-Samuel, A., Haigh, F., Harrison, A., Verma, A. and Pope, D. (2015) 'Development of an Urban Health Impact Assessment Methodology: Indicating the Health Equity Impacts of Urban Policies', European Journal of Public Health, 27 (suppl_2), pp. 56-61.

Pope, D., Katreniak, Z., Guha, J., Puzzolo, E., Higgerson, J., Steels, S., Woode-Owusu, M., Bruce, N., Birt, C.A., Ameijden, E.v. and Verma, A. (2015) 'Collecting Standardized Urban Health Indicator Data at an Individual Level for School-Aged Children Living in Urban Areas: Methods from EURO-URHIS 2', European Journal of Public Health, 27 (suppl_2), pp. 36-41. 

Verma, A., van Ameijden, E., Birt, C.A., Bocsan, I. and Pope, D. (2015) 'Why Investigate Urban Health Indicators?', European Journal of Public Health, 27 (suppl_2), pp. 1-3.

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