Senior Research Associate
I am interested in proposals from potential doctoral students in the broad areas of urban public space (e.g., the process of creating public spaces, the uses of public spaces), sustainable urban environments and urban design and behaviour.
I am currently examining the relationship between density (population, dwelling etc.) and the design decision-making process on a 4-year, £3 million EPSRC project called Sustainable Regeneration: From Evidence-based Urban Futures to Implementation (www.urban-futures.org). This project works across disciplines and uses future scenarios to measure the resilience of today's urban regeneration solutions in terms of sustainability in a UK context. We aim to answer the question: will decisions made, and solutions created,today in the name of sustainability still be considered sustainable, no matter what the future holds?Through case studies in Lancaster, Worcester and Birmingham, the research team will focus on testing specific sustainability decisions and solutions and attempt to improve on the solutions to make them truly sustainable now and in the future.
The work on Urban Futures builds onmy previousresearch about the urban design decision-making process and its relationship to sustainability as part ofa 5-year, £3 million EPSRC-funded project: VivaCity2020: Urban Sustainability for the 24-hour City (www.vivacity2020.eu). Prof. Rachel Cooper and I undertook three case studies in London, Manchester and Sheffield to understand who makes decisions about urban design, when and how they make those decisions, what tools they use to make decisions and whether or not they considered sustainability in decision-making. From our analysis of what happens in-practice and comparing it to the established literature, we were able to create an improved urban design decision-making process that incorporates sustainability at each stage.
In between these projects,I co-wrote a Government report with Prof. Rachel Cooper about the impacts of the physical environment on mental wellbeing for the Foresight Project on Mental Captial and Wellbeing (http://www.foresight.gov.uk/OurWork/ActiveProjects/Mental%20Capital/Welcome.asp). The report provides a state-of-the-art literature review about people's interactions with different environments at various scales -- urban, rural, neighbourhood, office, school, home, healthcare, rooms-- and relates them to mental health and wellbeing. Additional outputs from this project included two workshops about future trends in the physical environment and older people's needs for the future.
Beginning in May 2010, I will be starting a Lancaster University Early Career Grant Scheme project with Monika Buscher (Sociology) and Karenza Moore (Criminology) called The New Interaction Order: A Study of Behaviour in Public Spaces (http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/projects/new-interaction/). This collaborative projects seeks to study and evaluatekey changes (e.g., through ambient, embedded and personal technologies) in 'the interaction order' of public spaces. This will be achieved through inter-disciplinary ethnographic mobile methods, following in the footsteps of social scientist Erving Goffman and urban theoriest and sociologist William Whyte.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article