Dr Lauren Andres PhD

Lauren Andres

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 5021
+44 (0)121 41 45528
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Lauren Andres - Research in 60 seconds videoLauren Andres is an urban planner with substantive academic expertise in the field of urban and economic geography. Her fields of interest include the policies and governance process of urban and economic regeneration and broadly ‘temporary urbanism’, i.e. the understanding of the role of temporary uses and intermediaries in shaping spaces and making places. In addition, she is also interesting in assessing the forms of persistent resilience of groups of individuals and communities in a context of disturbances and pressures, looking at their coping tactics and the role of informal networks in their everyday life and practices. From an initial interest in Western Europe she has recently enlarged her geographical focus to Russia and South Africa.

Website: www.laurenandresurbanist.com

Lauren is currently leading as PI a major 30 months ESRC/NRF project (£474,007) looking at the appropriateness, usefulness and impact of the current urban planning curriculum in South African Higher Education. She received a range of internal and external research funding and was co-leading the first Institute for Advanced Studies Inaugural Theme 'Regeneration Economies' with Professor John Bryson.

She has hold different administrative responsibilities from Careers Tutor to Postgraduate Research Tutor and Director of the MSc Urban and Regional Studies and Year Tutor. She is also actively involved in delivering a range of UG and PG modules.

Dr Andres publishes in leading international journals including  Environment and Planning AUrban Studies, Regional Studies, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, European Planning Studies, International Planning Studies, International Journal of Cultural Policy, L'Espace Géographique, Espaces et Sociétés.


  • PhD in Urban Planning – 2008
  • M. Phil in Urban Planning - 2004
  • MSc in Geography and Planning - 2003
  • BSc in Geography and Planning - 2002


Lauren Andres joined the University of Birmingham (Centre for Urban and Regional Studies) as a lecturer in spatial planning in March 2009, before moving for the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2011. She holds a PhD (2008), funded by the French Ministry of Research. In 2007 she was awarded the prize “Fritz Schumacher” from the City of Hamburg for her research on the built environment and in 2012 the Head of School's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Supporting Student Learning. Lauren is the co-Chair of the AESOP French and British Planning Study Group.

Prior to undertaking her lectureship position, Lauren was a post-doc researcher in the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge. Previously, she was a lecturer at the Grenoble School of Planning (from 2004 to 2008); she is an affiliate member of the Research Centre “UMR CNRS PACTE” (Policies, Collective Actions and Territories).


MSc Urban and Regional Planning

  • Sustainable Cities (module leader)
  • The Planner in Contemporary Society (module leader)

In 2012 Dr Andres received the Head of School's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Supporting Student Learning.

Postgraduate supervision

Current Doctoral Researchers

  • Deyala Altarawneh (2013-2017) Therapeutic landscape & temporary uses in derelict spaces in Jordan (Sponsored by the University of Jordan) (with Phil Jones & Jessica Pykett) – awaiting viva

  • Bin Lin (2012-2016)  Property rights and multiple accessibilities in institutional and spatial changes of chinese urban village’s regeneration (Li Siguang Scholarship) (with Phil Jones and Vlad Mykhnenko) – undertaking corrections

  • Chloe Billing (2013-2016) Competitiveness and creative manufacturing industries: luxury, resilience, planning and post-recessionary adaptation (1+3 ESRC Studentship) (with John Bryson)

  • Hikmah Kamarudin (2015-2018) Physical Access for Disabled People to the City Centre Public Realm: The Case of Kuala Lumpur (Sponsored by the Malaysian Government) (with Rosie Day)

Completed PhDs

  • Nuruljanna Zhaina Albidin (2012-2016) Urban design and social sustainability in city-centre regeneration: the case of Kuala Lumpur (Sponsored by the Malaysian Government) (with Phil Jones)

  • Collins Adjei Mensah (2012-2015) Sustaining urban green spaces in Africa: a case study of Kumasi metropolis, Ghana (Sponsored by Ghanaian Government) (with Mike Beazley)

  • Daniel Smith (2009-2014) Planning for sustainable neighbourhoods in European cities (EPSRC Scholarship) (with Austin Barber)

  • Pei-Ling Liao (2009 -2014) Cultural and creative clusters in Asian cities – the case of Taipei (Taiwan) (with Caroline Chapain)

  • Tihomir Topuzovski  (2009-2013) Territorialisation and geopolitics in the Western Balkans (School Studentship and Overseas College Studentship) (with Stefan Bouzarovski & Dominique Moran)

Potential students interested in the area of urban and cultural regeneration, sustainable development, creative cities and planning, can contact Dr Andres directly, or visit her FindAPhD page for available opportunities.


Current Research Projects

2016 – 2019 The appropriateness, usefulness and impact of the current urban planning curriculum in South African Higher Education (ESRC / NRF), £474,007.08 FEC (ESRC) - R2,284,300 (NRF) circa £119,000 ES/P00198X/1

ESRC: Lauren Andres (PI) with Phil Jones, Mike Beazley and David Adams

NRF: Ruth Massey (PI) with Verna Nel and Stuart Denoon-Stevens

International institutions such as the United Nations have highlighted the significance of planning as a discipline in promoting more sustainable environments and dealing with the core economic, social and environmental challenges faced by Africa. Delivering successful urban planning training in SA Higher Education will thus make a key contribution to addressing SA national Government priorities around equity, social justice and democracy.

For many years post-colonial and post-apartheid SA has modelled its urban planning practices on Western systems which has been reflected in HE curricula. Concerns have been raised about the relevance and applicability of these Western theories and methods when planning African cities (Watson, 2003, 2009). To date, there has been little or no sustained work that brings together post-colonial and Southern debate theories with an examination of transferring northern planning theories to South Africa. Major uncertainties remain about HE and the appropriateness, usefulness and impact of planning curricula in the last 10 years and their associated teaching methods. The proposed research also aims to reflect more widely on the implications of the SA study for UK planning education; this is especially important given the recent increase in students from the Global South registering for planning-related courses in the UK.

O1: To investigate the social and economic value of planning education in SA particularly questions of equity and diversity in HE destination choices, graduation rates and employability outcomes.

O2: To deconstruct how the development and delivery of the urban planning undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum addresses issues raised by a changing post-colonial context in SA.

O3: Drawing on O2, to assess to what extent issues raised by a changing colonial context is considered and addressed in the UK undergraduate and postgraduate planning curriculum. By doing so and reflecting on lessons from O1, the research will explore the implications for urban planning lecturers in the UK when working with students from Africa and the wider Global South.

O4: To create a platform for ideas-sharing between SA academics, professionals and students across the world in order to connect and inform curriculum shaping, teaching methods and wider HE strategies for planning education (especially via SACPLAN)

O5: To develop a set of evidence-based resources for HE planning strategies that can address the Global South challenge in SA and across the wider continent.

The potential applications and benefits of the proposed research are diverse. There will be an immediate contribution to existing teaching programmes and to SACPLAN/RTPI strategies. There will also be a medium to long-term contribution through the way urban issues are dealt with in SA, what this means for planners when trained and re-trained (CPD) and for the content of planning curricula, teaching methods and thus planning policy. The main targets for dissemination of the project findings go beyond traditional academic audiences to planning practitioners, policy-makers and wider community groups. It will include the production of reports, briefing notes, good practice guides, evidence-based learning and teaching materials as well as academic papers and a book. The development of an online forum will maximise international dissemination of the project and provides long-term impact by creating a dynamic platform for debates among South African (and African) planners.

Regeneration Economies: Transforming People, Place and Production (2013-2014) –Institute for Advanced Studies (Inaugural Theme) – University of Birmingham (with John Bryson)

The economic crisis that commenced in 2007 is associated with calls to rebalance the economy. This reflects political interest in economic restructuring to enhance competitiveness through diversity combined with localism. Academics have developed disciplinary approaches to understanding regional problems that require interdisciplinary solutions. Existing approaches are no longer appropriate for understanding cities that are experiencing an on-going process of economic regeneration. It is thus timely to develop new ways of conceptualising regional economies by drawing upon a comparative analysis of two city regions – Birmingham and Chicago. This approach will develop new policy interventions and will allow further comparisons with other places in Europe, America or China.

The Regeneration Economies theme includes three interrelated strands of activity:

  • The development of an integrated approach to understanding regional regeneration economies which will be more holistic or less partial than existing conceptualisations.
  • Major developments in engineering will revolutionise production systems and will transform the functioning economic geography of regional economies and of the international economy in the near future. This strand will explore the consequences of these developments by developing a distinctive research dialogue between engineering and the social sciences. 
  • The competitiveness of regional economies is increasingly reliant on the availability and quality of skills as well as the anticipation of future skills and training needs. This third strand explores the relationship between firms, regional competitiveness, skills and training.  

Regeneration Economies in an Age of Uncertainty: Transformation, Innovation and Economic Growth funded by IAS-University of Birmingham (2012)
With John Bryson

These two workshops will explore the development of a new thematic approach to understanding change and transformation in ‘regeneration economies’. The economic downturn that commenced in 2008 is associated with a new focus on enhancing local economic development and on rebalancing local economies in an age of uncertainty. This notion of ‘balance’ reflects a new emphasis on manufacturing as a key driver of economic growth. The project’s rationale is to explore the development of a new set of approaches to understanding the transformation of local and regional economies that have experienced considerable turbulence. The development of our new concept of ‘regeneration economies’ has the potential to act as a distinctive framework for researching and understanding economic transformation in places like the West Midlands, Chicago and Randstad. A feature of these workshops is to consider the interactions between a set of local and global processes as they are being played out in regeneration economies. Workshop 1 will develop a research approach to exploring places through the conceptual lens of ‘regeneration economies’ that will be tested in Workshop 2.

The role of ‘persistent resilience’ within everyday life: communities coping with marginality – a cross-college pilot project funded by the University of Birmingham (2010-2011)
With John Round, Oleg Golubchikov, Chris Barber, Charlotte Ross, Isabelle Szmigin, Andrew Quinn, Anthony Beech & Mark Ryan.

Practitioners in emergency planning state that “resiliency is the ability of a social unit to withstand external shocks to its infrastructure” (National Academy Press, 2009). However, inadequately explored is how communities develop resilience to more mundane, everyday pressures. To fill this lacuna this project argues that community resilience does not only relate to how communities anticipate, prevent, react to major shocks but also how communities (particularly those at the margins of society for various economic, social and ideological reasons) deal with ongoing economic, social, cultural, political contextual challenges/pressure placed upon them by adopting various coping tactics. These tactics might be built thanks to volunteerism, social networks, the emergence of local leaders or other ‘bottom up’ initiatives. They lead to distinct patterns of evolution and integration of these communities within the wider society. This project argues that such resilience has been drawn upon for generations. Therefore, by exploring how communities develop persistent resilience the project will to demonstrate how such networks and tactics can be strengthened.

Internationalising higher education: urban development in Russia
(British Council) with John Round, Oleg Golubchikov & Irina Kuznetsova-Morenko

Given the high levels of urban growth, combined with mega events such as the Olympics and World Cup, there is a very high demand for the modernisation of urban development teaching in Russia. According to government officials, members of industry and academics, professionals in urban development in Russia urgently need training in the skills they currently lack, such as, for example, how to ensure broader industry, public participation and stakeholders’ involvement, prevent socio-spatial polarization, control urban sprawl, deliver sustainable and low-carbon built environments and overall create meaningful and well-integrated places, at the neighbourhood, city, and regional levels. Currently urban development teaching in Russia is spread across degrees and faculties and there is not an integrated approach. The project is based on a two way exchange of ideas, concepts, and best practice between the Russian (Kazan) and British (Birmingham) partners.

Mega-Events and Regional Development
Co Regional Studies Research Network with Graeme Evans and Bas Van Heur

The aim of the research network is to situate mega-event led regeneration within regional studies and both to theorise the concept and transfer accumulating knowledge and develop methods of planning, impact evaluation and measurement of their effects over time. The network will also compare and contrast the ambitions and impacts of mega-events as regards to previous well assessed events (Barcelona 1992, Glasgow 1990 for example) and identify the different current patterns addressing such perspectives of regeneration and regional development (e.g. traditional challenges of deindustrialisation recovery for crisis cities / territories; desire to foster and sustain the growth strategy of a world city etc). The first seminar will consider mega-event led regeneration within regional studies in terms of renewed concepts, new theories and measurement at micro, meso and macro scales. The second seminar will look at policies and particularly assess mega-event led regeneration & planning and regional policies. The final seminar will draw some lessons from 25 years of mega-event regeneration and legacies and identify the new challenges for policy & practice and regional studies research. 

Past Research Projects

Renouveler et recomposer les quartiers – a two year research project sponsored by the French ministry of planning – PUCA / Ministère de l’équipement

Développement urbain durable – Sustainable urban development – a series of international seminars sponsored by the UMR PACTE during three years

Alarm procedures and hazard mitigation in urban areas: linking hazard mitigation to sustainable development – a one year project undertaken in the UMR PACTE

Other activities

Lauren is the co-chair of the French & British Planning Study. She is a member of the Regional Studies Association and the School contact point for AESOP.

She was the principal organizer of the 2011 UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference. Prior to that she was also the principal organizer of the 4th International conference on territorial planning (Grenoble-2007). Lauren currently acts as a member of the international scientific committee for the European Urban Research Association (EURA)_Urban Affairs Association (UAA) third Joint Conference on City Futures, Paris, 18-20 June 2014.

Dr Andres regularly provides international expertise. This included in 2011-2012 her input to the programme POPSU Europe - La ville des créateurs for the cities of Lausanne and Birmingham and her participation to the Made in Kazan Event in September 2012

Lauren acts as an academic reviewer for several Research Councils across Europe (ESRC, ANR, DFG, Swiss National Science Foundation, Leverhulme Trust); she is regularly invited to review papers in various international journals (European Planning Studies, the Journal of Public Administration, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, Geografiska Annaler B: Human Geography, The International Journal of Cultural Policy).

Dr Andres is a member of the international editorial board of “Espaces et Sociétés”.


MENSAH, C. A., ANDRES, L., BAIDOO, P., ESHUN J. & ANTW, K., (2016) Community Participation in Urban Planning: The case of managing green spaces in Kumasi, Ghana, Urban Forum, pp1-17

ANDRES, L & GOLUBCHIKOV, G., (2016), The limits to artists-led regeneration: creative brownfields in the cities of high culture, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-2427.12412/abstract 

ADJEI MENSAH, C., ANDRES, L., BEAZLEY, M., & ROJI,  A. (in press). Managing urban green spaces in Africa: A collaborative governance approach. In: Sener, A., Rajput,   N., & Arif, Z. U. (eds), Advances in Resource Management and Consumer Sciences, Oric Publications, Arkansas

MENSAH, C. A., ANDRES, L., PERERA, U., & ROJI, A. (2016). Enhancing quality of life through the lens of green spaces: A systematic review approach. International Journal of Wellbeing, 6(1), pp 142-163

ANDRES, L. & ROUND, J. (2015) The creative economy in a context of transition: a review of the mechanisms of micro-resilience, Cities, 45, 1-6

ANDRES, L. & ROUND, J. (2015) The role of ‘persistent resilience’ within everyday life: households coping with marginality, Environment and Planning A, 47(3) 676 – 690

SYKES, O., ANDRES, L. & BOOTH, P. (2015) The potential and perils of cross-national planning research, Town Planning Review, 86(2), pp. 98-103

ANDRES, L. & CHAPAIN, C. 2015, Creative systems, in Bryson J.R and Daniels P.W (dd. Dir) The Handbook of Service Business, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 349-370

ANDRES, L., BOOTH, P. & SYKES O. (2014), AESOP's Thematic Groups – Part 1: French and British Planning Studies Group, DisP, 50(2), pp. 50-52

ANDRES, L. & GRESILLON, B., 2014, ‘European Capital of Culture’: A leverage for regional development and governance? The case of Marseille Provence 2013, Regions, 295(3), pp. 8-10.

ANDRES, L., 2014, Ville créative, entre richesse et fourre-tout, France Forum, 54, pp. 32-34

ANDRES, L., 2013, Differential spaces, power-hierarchy and collaborative planning: a critique of the role of temporary users in shaping and making places, Urban Studies, 50(4), pp. 759-775 – Runner-up paper for the 2013 Best Urban Studies paper – Granted Open Access

ANDRES, L., GRESILLON, B., 2013, Cultural brownfields in European cities: a new mainstream object for cultural and urban policies, The International Journal of Cultural Policy, 19(1), pp. 40-62

ANDRES L., CHAPAIN C., 2013, The integration of cultural and creative industries into local and regional development strategies in Birmingham and Marseille: Towards a more inclusive governance?, Regional Studies, 47(2), pp. 161-182

ANDRES, L. 2013, L'intérim, le temporaire et la veille comme enjeux d'une ville réversible et éminemment mutable in SCHERRER, F. and VANIER, M., Villes, territoires et réversiblités, Éditions Hermann, Paris, pp. 28-35

ANDRES, L. 2012, Being a creator in a city of transition: Clusterisation, entrepreneurism and local transformations in Birmingham in J.J. Terrin (dd. Dir) La Ville des Créateurs, POPSU, Paris, pp. 52-71

ANDRES, L. 2012, Spaces of creation and creators’ profiles in a city of Culture, Lausanne, in J.J. Terrin (dd. Dir) La Ville des Créateurs, POPSU, Paris, pp. 74-89

ANDRES, L., 2012, Levels of governance and multi-stage policy process of brownfield regeneration: a comparison of France and Switzerland, International Planning Studies, 17(1), p. 23–43

ANDRES L., 2011, Alternative initiatives, cultural intermediaries and urban regeneration: the case of La Friche (Marseille), European Planning Studies, 19(5), pp. 795-811

ANDRES L., 2011, Marseille 2013 or the final round of a long and complex regeneration strategy? Town Planning Review, 82(1), pp. 61-76

ANDRES L. GRESILLON B., 2011, Les figures de la friche dans les villes culturelles et créatives. Regards croisés européens, L’Espace Géographique, 1, pp. 15-30

ANDRES L., 2011, Les usages temporaires des friches urbaines, enjeux pour l’aménagement, Métropolitiques, http://www.metropolitiques.eu/Les-usages-temporaires-des-friches.html

ZEPF, M., ANDRES L., 2011, Les enjeux de la planification territoriale en Europe : approche comparée France-Grande Bretagne-Allemagne-Italie, PPUR, Lausanne.

ANDRES, L., 2011, Cultural and creative economies in urban development. A critical overview. In KUZNETSOVA-MORENKO, I.B & ROUND J. (eds.) New challenges of urban development: global and local. Kazan University Publishing, Kazan, pp. 27-48

ANDRES L., 2011, Planification et mutabilité urbaine : une conciliation impossible in ZEPF M., ANDRES L., (Eds.), 2011, Les enjeux de la planification territoriale en Europe : approche comparée France-Grande Bretagne-Allemagne-Italie, PPUR, Lausanne, pp. 217-232

DUARTE, P., AMBROSINO, C., ANDRES, L., SEIGNEURET, N. (2010) Des projets de renouvellement urbain de quartiers : représentations, traductions et légitimités des démolitions, L’Harmattan, Paris.

ANDRES L., BOCHET B., 2010, Ville durable, ville mutable : quelle convergence en France et en Suisse ?, Revue d’Economie Régionale et Urbaine, 4, pp.729-746

ANDRES L., 2010, Friches et mutabilité précursive. Retour d’expériences franco-helvétique sur le rôle des acteurs transitoires dans la reconquête culturelle de territoire délaissés, Méditerranée (Journal of Mediterranean geography), 114, pp. 51-64

ANDRES L., 2009, La ville face aux incessants changements de ses formes et de ses fonctions : la mutabilité comme constitutive du fait urbain in ROSBOCH M., BERTRAND G. (Eds.), Le dinamiche del cambiamento. Cultura, cittadinanza, economia nelle regioni alpine occidentali tra età moderna e globalizzazione, Libreria Stampatori, Turin, pp 51-66

ANDRES L., 2009, La ville mutable. Le cas de la friche de la Belle de Mai (Marseille), Faire Savoirs, pp 111-120

ANDRES L., 2008, Les friches urbaines : entre chancre et chance, éphémère et pérennité, in VALLAT C. (Eds.), Pérennité urbaine ou la ville par-delà ses métamorphoses, Volume3, L’Harmattan, Paris, pp 95-108

JANIN C., ANDRES L., 2008 La friche : une ressource pour révéler la capacité d’une société à gérer les changements », Annales de la Géographie, 663, pp. 62-81

AMBROSINO C., ANDRES L., 2008, Friches en ville : du temps de veille aux politiques de l’espace. Acteurs informels, planification et mutabilité urbaine dans le quartier Berriat à Grenoble, Espaces et Société, 134, pp 37-51

ANDRES, L., FARACO B., 2007, Territorialisation et appropriation des normes du développement durable. Agenda 21 locaux : vers un modèle explicatif des différenciations in FAURE A. et NEGRIER E. (Eds.), Critiques de la territorialisation. Les politiques publiques à l’épreuve de l’action locale, L’Harmattan, Paris, pp. 133-139

AMBROSINO C., ANDRES L., 2007, Les clusters culturels et la mutabilité urbaine : un regard franco-britannique in LERICHE F. (Eds.) L’économie culturelle et ses territoires, Presses Universitaires du Mirail, Toulouse, pp. 305-316

ANDRES L., 2007, Action publique et population locale à l’épreuve des trajectoires de mutabilité des friches urbaines : Les cas du Flon à Lausanne et de la Belle de Mai à Marseille, in BOUQUET B. (Eds.), Territoires et action sociale, L’Harmattan, Paris, pp. 225-244

ANDRES, STRAPPAZZON, 2007, Natural hazard management and sustainable development: a questionable link, Revue de Géographie Alpine, 95(2), pp. 40-50

ANDRES. L, 2006, Temps de veille de la friche urbaine et diversité des processus d’appropriation : La Belle de Mai (Marseille) et le Flon (Lausanne), Géocarrefour, 81, pp. 159-166