Dr Phil Jones

Dr Phil Jones of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences describes, in 60 seconds, his research in the area of how urban creativity can be used to improve social, environmental and economic wellbeing. 

60 seconds with Dr Phil Jones

I’m Phil Jones, a cultural geographer at the University of Birmingham.

Cities are fantastically complex and diverse places, which act as hubs of creative activity. My research is particularly concerned with how this urban creativity can be used to improve social, environmental and economic wellbeing. A key part of this is in changing our understanding of what we mean by an expert.

Traditionally experts have been people like planners, politicians and even academics. In recent years it has become more common to acknowledge that residents, communities, people without an official title, can have a great deal of valuable knowledge, particularly when it comes to redeveloping or regenerating a neighbourhood. We’ve been working on a series of tools to help communities tap into their own expertise, for example developing a smartphone mapping app for local planning. We’re also working with communities to think through how arts-based projects can generate more engagement with the creative economy to help tackle inequality.

We’re collaborating with communities, local government, NGOs and the arts sector to help cities make best use of their in-built creativity.

Dr Phil Jones' profile