Dr Austin Barber

Centre for Urban and Regional Studies

Contact details


Previous experience

Prior to his academic career, Austin worked as a newspaperjournalist for several years in London and Birmingham, covering urbandevelopment, economic and planning affairs from a day to dayperspective.


  • City centre planning and regeneration
  • City living, gentrification and urban economic transformation
  • Planning for sustainable new urban districts
  • Comparative urban development and spatial planning in European and North American cities


Research group: Planning, housing and communities

Current and recent projects

  • Urban Futures: From Sustainable Urban Futures to Implementation. A four-year project for EPSRC under its Sustainable Urban Environments programme. Austin is a principal investigator, for work examining the socio-economic dimensions of planning for sustainable urban regeneration.

  • Accommodating Creative Knowledge: the competitiveness of European Metropolitan Regions in the Enlarged Union (ACRE), European Commission (an international comparative project linking CURS and 13 partner institutions across Europe)
  • Spatial planning for creative industries development and leadership in place-making for the knowledge-based economy, Academy for Sustainable Communities
  • Comparative study of planning for new inner city districts in Lyon, Birmingham and Barcelona
  • The growth of city centre living and its implications for planning in Birmingham


Barber, A. and Pareja-Eastaway, M. (2010, forthcoming).  Leadership Challenges in the Inner City: Planning for Sustainable Regeneration in Birmingham and Barcelona. Policy Studies.

Weingaertner, C. and Barber. A. (2010 forthcoming).  UrbanRegeneration and Sustainability: The Role for Established SmallBusinesses. European Planning Studies.

Barber, A. and Hall, S. 2008.  Birmingham: Whose Urban Renaissance? Regeneration as a response to economic restructuring. Policy Studies, 29 (3), 281-292.

Barber, A. and Blackaby, B. 2008.  City Living in Birmingham: A Second Independent Review, Birmingham: Centre for Urban and Regional Studies.

Barber, A. 2007.  Planning for Sustainable Re-urbanisation: Policy Challenges and City Centre Housing in Birmingham.  Town Planning Review  78 (2), 179-202

Porter, L., Barber, A. 2007. Planning the Cultural Quarter in Birmingham’s Eastside.  European Planning Studies, 15 (10), 1327-1348

Porter, L., Barber, A. 2006.  Closing Time: The Meaning of Place and State-Led Gentrification in Birmingham’s Eastside.  City 10 (2), 217-236

Barber, A., Groves, A., Murie, A. 2006.  Changing Housing Markets, Race and Community: Policy and Practice in Birmingham.  In: Beider, H., ed.  Neighbourhood Renewal & Housing Markets: Community Engagement in the US & UK, Oxford: Blackwell, pp 115-137

Baraber, A. 2006 Reconciling competitiveness and Inclusionin the Heart of the Entrepreneurial City?  Planning for New CentralDistricts in Lyon and Birmingham.  Presented at the World PlanningSchools Congress, Mexico City, 12-16 July, 2006.

Barber, A. 2006.  Nouveaux Defis Politques etInstitutionnels: Le Developpement des Residences de Centre-Ville dansles Grandes Agglomerations Regionales Anglaises.  In: Commercon, N. et al., eds. Territoires Institutionnels, Territoires Fonctionnels, Macon: Institue de Recherche du Val de Saone Macconnais