Research and consultancy 

Strategic spatial planning

Redeveloped areaWe provide analytical research and support for the development of strategic spatial planning resources at a variety of scales from the neighbourhood to the region. We undertake this through socio-economic, environmental and policy analysis, and subsequently strategic site planning and the development of the approaches and techniques of wide-area spatial analysis. Through this research, and our long standing connections to local, regional and national policy making and professional planning communities, we seek to critique current planning practice and provide a set of analytical tools that will which present  issues and options for decision making.

Economic development

We aim to enhance understanding of the development and re-organisation economic activity at different spatial scales. Though a focus on; the role of knowledge networks around businesses, universities and governmental agencies in promoting economic change; the evolution of sectors and clusters of strategic importance for local and regional economies (automotive, creative industries) ; and the development and evaluation of policies responding to economic changes affecting cities and regions.

Creative industriesBy studying these and related themes in and around the economy we aim to contribute to evolving academic debates and to provide policy makers at different levels (European, national, regional, local) with the guidance they need to address contemporary economic change. For more information see the Institute for Economic Development Policy.

Urban regeneration and resilience

Economic restructuring in recent years has resulted in profound changes in our urban environment. Our work analyses the critical success factors for sustainable regeneration, housing policy and addresses the governance structures required to facilitate its management and effective community engagement in these processes. In this regard we continue to work closely with the University’s Third Sector Research Centre.

Urban area in need of regenerationThe University of Birmingham is also making a major investment into the innovative research area of Resilience and Urban Living. Linking the subjects of human geography, psychology, engineering and social sciences, our focus is on understanding the capability and capacity of social and/or physical urban systems to withstand and adapt to social, political, environmental and economic change.

Place leadership

Working with the Homes and Communities Agency we have developed a targeted and tailored leadership capacity building and research programme (Leadership of Place).  This programme will help leaders of place combine the required spatial literacy with the relational skills to develop collective understanding and common purpose, key to delivering large scale projects. This team of work is also connected to the Centre for Leadership at the University of Birmingham (CLUB).