Dr Tony Hargreaves BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, MICE

Dr Tony Hargreaves

Department of Civil Engineering
Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Civil Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Tony’s research explores the interdependencies between urban spatial planning and infrastructure. He has in-depth knowledge of spatial interaction models to forecast the development of cities, and infrastructure models for energy, transport, water, and waste.

His research develops novel methods of modelling across spatial scales that combines a socio-economic understanding of cities with the physical modelling of buildings and infrastructure. This aims to understand how spatial planning will affect the future potential of sustainable technologies, and what combinations of planning policies and infrastructure could improve the sustainability and resilience of cities.


Tony has been a Senior Research Fellow at Birmingham University since 2015, and was previously a Senior Research Associate for 12 years at Cambridge University.  He has a Ph.D and M.Sc. in transport planning and engineering from Leeds University and a B.Sc. 1st class honours in civil engineering and Brinkworth prize from Loughborough University. He is a chartered member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Prior to working in academic research he had extensive professional experience in engineering consultancy. This included advising government agencies on the transport impacts of major new town development projects and multi-modal transport improvements. He was also responsible for the transport modelling, economic and environmental assessment of new infrastructure projects and the engineering design and contract documents for an underground city centre flood protection scheme.


Tony has supervised and examined postgraduate students; given presentations for training programmes on sustainable development for government and industry leaders; and has given invited lectures to postgraduate students at Chongqing University and Harbin Institute of Technology in China. 

He has presented at numerous academic and professional conferences and to public audiences. He gave evidence to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for a report on demographic change and environment. He is a reviewer for several journals on energy, transport and urban planning.


Tony has worked on the Liveable Cities, Urban Living Birmingham, and Self-Repairing Cities projects at Birmingham University.  He has been carrying out research on urban metabolism and flows and investigating the opportunities and challenges of transforming connectivity and mobility for healthier, cleaner and more efficient cities.

Previously he was Co-Investigator on an East of England Development Agency funded project to develop and apply the software for an Integrated Economic and Spatial Modelling Tool. This was a state-of-the-art spatial interaction model linked to input-output social accounting matrices.

This modelling tool built on research from two successive EPSRC funded Sustainable Urban Environments projects. The ReVISIONS research project was a consortium of 7 universities led by Cambridge University. Tony was the Researcher Co-Investigator and Project Manager and led the research on linking the macro scale modelling of cities to the future building types and how this would affect the potential for decentralised building and community scale technologies for energy, transport, water and waste.  This used the London city region and the main case study area and included collaboration with Tsinghua University and University of Sao Paulo on comparative case studies of Beijing and Sao Paulo.

The SOLUTIONS research project was a consortium of 5 university partners led by Cambridge University. Tony was the named researcher and Project Manager.  It used government owned land use transport interaction models to design and test land use and transport options for London, Cambridge, and Tyne & Wear city regions and assess their sustainability. The project had financial support from the Department for Transport and the Department for Communities and Local Government. It had a big impact on the debate about urban densities.

The above research emerged from methods developed on the Cambridge Futures Study. Tony was the researcher who carried out the testing of transport options in combination with long-term spatial planning scenarios using a land use transport interaction model. Tony helped contribute evidence to the Examination in Public of the Structure Plan which marked a radical change in the Sub-regional planning policy. New development is now being located in and around Cambridge to reduce travel distances and help to reduce housing costs.


The following is a selection of recent peer reviewed journal papers: