BiographyI am a chartered town planner (MRTPI) and a Senior Lecturer in Civic Design within the Department of Geography & Planning at the University of Liverpool - the first planning school in the world, opened in 1909 as the Department of Civic Design. I am Programme Director for the Master of Civic Design (MCD) degree, our flagship planning programme, along with its sister programme the MA Town and Regional Planning, and the MSc Urban Planning at our London campus. I am also Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies for the School of Environmental Sciences, within which the Department sits, and Book Reviews Editor for the journal Town Planning Review. In 2016 I became Director of the Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Cities (SaRC).
I moved from a career in planning practice to undertake a PhD at Newcastle University in 2005. That PhD was on the subject of rural affordable housing, a personal interest for me, and something I had worked on as a practitioner in the North East of England. After that PhD I worked as a Research Associate, again at Newcastle University, on the SUME project (Sustainable Urban Metabolism for Europe). Since October 2010 I have worked at the University of Liverpool in various roles.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
I have two overarching research interests:
Firstly, exploring different aspects of sustainable urban growth. I am Director of the Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Cities (SaRC) at the University of Liverpool. This is a new interdisciplinary initiative designed to bring together colleagues from across the University with external partners from the public, private and third sectors. I have personally worked on this topic in the UK, Europe, India and China. My UK work includes several projects (and subsequent publications) on Neighbourhood Planning and the green belt. Previously I worked on the EU-funded SUME (Sustainable Urban Metabolism for Europe) project which looked at various European cities and their growth trajectories. My work in India has focussed on the town of Darjeeling, and the (un)sustainability of the urban development process in that area. In China I have published a book chapter on the implications for urban growth of the growing middle class in that country, and I have several PhD students working on related projects.
Secondly, developing learning and teaching practice within Planning, informed by pedagogical theory. I have recently completed an MA in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education, which has informed much of this work. I have led a research project exploring the impacts of changes to learning and teaching practices to deal with large changes in class size and composition (cultural and discipline), and evaluating those changes.