Planning, infrastructure and urban design

Members of staff who work within this research theme address issues of spatial planning and urban design, as well as linked issues of urban governance. They provide teaching, training, research and knowledge transfer services in connection with a range of themes and issues. This is targeted to a wide range of governmental, private sector, non-governmental and community organisations. Specific research funders in recent years have included the UK Department of Communities and Local Government, the Scottish and Welsh Governments, Scottish Natural Heritage, Carnegie Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

In overall terms this work has a focus on policy development, implementation and good practice in fields such as, development planning, development management, urban design policy and practice, equality and diversity, and sustainable resource management. A key emphasis is on shaping emerging research and policy agendas, linking with interdisciplinary partners from academia and practice, so as to provide relevant analyses and skill development and support, which provide integrated solutions to policy and practice problems.

More specifically, our researchers address key questions relating to the orientation of policy instruments in spatial planning with modernisation agendas; promoting interdisciplinary approaches to sustainable planning, exploring social inclusion and competitiveness in the governance of spatial planning and the design and management of public space. Emerging research interests include: the spatial planning response to the challenges of climate change; the design of ‘liveable’ places; marine spatial planning; and differential participation in planning and governance systems.