I am a Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning at the University of Birmingham, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. My international expertise sits within the field of urban regeneration/studies in a variety of context: Europe, South Africa and Russia. I am leading the GEES Urban Initiative, which will be launched in September 2017. The Urban Initiative will be an interdisciplinary virtual centre bringing together researchers from the School in the areas of human (particularly urban and economic) and physical geography, urban planning, environmental and health sciences. It will also include undergraduates, postgraduates, alumni and stakeholders interested in the urban and will collaborate with other scientists and research units across the University and beyond. The Initiative will open new avenues for collaboration, funding and engagement for the School, the College and the University.
By essence I am World and European Citizen and Professional, working in the UK since 2009, trained in France, having conducted research internationally and having met a range of fantastic people from across the world.
My research is at the intersection of debates on urban planning and urban geography. My work has been instrumental in developing an innovative approach to examining urban temporalities and specifically to understanding periods of stasis within urban development processes, as these relate to questions of governance, particularly in giving a voice to stakeholders sitting outside of the main decision-making streams. As such, it has developed a new field of expertise so called ‘temporary urbanism’ which relates to any planned or unplanned actions designed and thought through with the ambition of activating a space in need of transformation and thus of impacting the surrounding socio-economic environment. I am leading the Temporary Urbanism Lab.
My recent grant success on planning curricula in Higher Education in South Africa and in the UK, drawing on previous University/IAS as well as British Council awards, demonstrates my recognition as an expert in HE pedagogy both towards international students and urban planning training. It lies upon my in-depth expertise of teaching to various audiences and in different countries. It connects with my research track in decrypting key urban problems, in relation to urban regeneration and temporary uses and in relating them to key issues in terms of training and skills, in the UK and in Russia.
My contribution also includes key outputs to the urban and everyday resilience debate, looking at communities and SMEs and thus interrogating the impact of socio-economic downturns on the development of coping strategies and tactics.
I am co-chairing with Dr. Olivier Sykes (University of Liverpool) the French and British Planning Study Group (part of the Association of European Schools of Planning).