Urban and regional studies

This research subtheme comprises political and social geographers and urban/regional planners. We look both at urban and rural processes and interrelations between them.

The subtheme comprises political and social geographers and urban/regional planners looking at both urban and rural processes and the interrelations between them. It explores a series of issues around spatial and strategic planning (David Adams, Austin Barber, Michael Beazley, Kat Salter, and Charles Goode) and big data (Zhaoya Gong). It employs participatory methods in planning (Peter Lee) and involves children and young people into the discussions on how cities need to look like (Sophie Hadfield-Hill). A big division of the work among members of this groups has been done in cities in Global South including urban planning education in South Africa (David Adams, Phil Jones), waste and pollution (Natasha Cornea), energy poverty (Rosie Day), and well-being (Irina Kuznetsova, John Round). Another area of research is focused on questions on how cities are affected by war and conflicts (Sara Fregonese, Adam Ramadan).

The research theme also considers the challenges placed on urban societies and how migrants and immigration policies are reconstituting urban spaces and what can be undertaken to improve the social inclusion of migrants (Melanie Griffiths, Irina Kuznetsova, Neelambari Phalkey, John Round). Some member of the group focus on the rural studies including political economy of agricultural development in Global South (Fraser Sugden), and the impact of migration on  the rural development in the Global South (Fraser Sugden, Irina Kuznetsova, John Round, Neelambari Phalkey). 

Current projects

West Midlands Futures (with Royal Town Planning Institute) Dr Austin Barber, Dr Michael Beazley, and Charles Goode

Learning from small cities: Governing imagined futures and the dynamics of change in India’s smart age (ESRC, lead by Dr. Ayona Datta, Kings College London, Co-investigator from GEES Dr Sophie

Eco-communities in an urban future (USF, lead by Professor Jenny Pickerill University of Sheffield; con-investigators from GEES Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill and Professor Peter Kraftl)

AGRUMIG: Migration governance and agricultural and rural change in ‘home’ (Funded by the EU Horizon2020, lead by Professo Peter Molinga, co-investigators from GEES Dr Fraser Sugden, Dr Irina Kuznetsova and Dr Irina Kuznetsova)

Alleviating the Impacts of Gaza's Energy Crisis on Population's Well-being through Sustainable Electricity Generating Technology’ (Funded by British Academy, lead by Dr Raya Al-Dadah, co-investigators in GEES Dr Irina Kuznetsova and Dr Surindar Dhesi)

Well-being and mental health of forced displaced people in African cities (funded by GCRF Academy of Medical Sciences, principal investigators Dr Stefan Jansen University of Rwanda and Dr Irina Kuznetsova University of Birmingham, co-investigators in GEES Dr John Round and Dr Surindar Dhesi)

Russian megacities in the context of new social and environmental challenges 

Invisible citizens’: exploring mental health issues in rural settlements in the state of São Paulo, Brazil (funded by the Institute of Advanced Studies UOB, lead by Dr Irina Kuznetsova and Professor Carla Ventura University of São Paulo)