Critical governance studies looking at the scope for and limits to community action, including: multi-scalar governance, particularly at the urban and neighbourhood levels; the expectations and reality of community engagement and tensions between local and strategic priorities; and the ability of communities to develop capacity to engage in self-help activities such as social enterprise. Urban social policy with a focus on area-based responses to deprivation. International comparative research and policy transfer.
BA (Hons) Geography, Oxford University
MSc (Econ) Population, Policies and Programmes, Cardiff University
Postgraduate Diploma Urban Regeneration, University of Westminster
Master in Public Administration, Harvard University
PhD, Cardiff University
I have pursued a variety of different roles in a variety of sectors, including private consultancy, local and national government in the UK, state government in Australia, and academic study and research work in the US. My extensive experience of working in and with different levels of government gives me direct knowledge of policy interventions at different spatial scales which attempt to effect change in communities:
- Consultant, Pieda plc (planning and economic development consultancy), Reading, (1993-96)
- Regeneration Manager, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London (1996-99)
- Research Analyst, Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2001-02)
- Manager Housing Delivery, Sustainable Communities Delivery Unit, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, London (2003-2004)
- Strategic Advisor Housing and Liveability, Sydney Metropolitan Strategy Team, New South Wales Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, Sydney (2004-2005)
- Editor Cities Paper for National Budget, New Deal for Cities and Regions Team, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, London (2006)
Awards and Prizes
Harvard University and NeighborWorks America funding to attend symposium on sustainable community development, Washington DC, 2011.
Association of European Schools of Planning Young Academics Network bursary to attend the Joint Congress of American and European planning schools, Chicago, 2008.
Resident Scholar at John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC (awarded by the ESRC and the Library of Congress), 2007-2008.
ESRC Studentship at Cardiff University School of City and Regional Planning, 2006-2009.
Emerging Leaders in Community and Economic Development Research Fellow awarded by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, 2000.
British Schools and Universities Foundation May and Ward Funds Scholar, 1999-2001.
Elizabeth Tuckerman Scholarship Foundation Scholar, 1999-2001.
Memberships / External Activities
Urban and Regional Governance and Spatial Planning and City Environments Research Groups, CPLAN.
Association of European Schools of Planning Young Academics Network.
Royal Geographical Society.
Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD).
Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales.
Invited participant (2011) in the NeighborWorks America symposium on sustainable community development, Washington DC.
Invited participant (2011) in ESRC/ AHRC Connected Communities Policy Workshop on Neighbourhood and Community Involvement in Public Services, at the Department for Communities and Local Government, London.
Invited participant (2011) in Universities Police Science Institute ESRC expert seminars on Community Networks and Mobilisation in Delivering Neighbourhood Security; and the Use and Analysis of Community Engagement, Cardiff.
Pill, M.C. (2011) “Re-purposing Neighbourhood Governance in its Complex and Shifting Context: A Study of the City of Westminster”. International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis, Cardiff.
Bristow, G., Pill, M.C., Davies, R. and Drinkwater, S. (2011) “Push and Pull: Understanding Welsh Graduate Employment and Migration”. Regional Science Association International British and Irish Section Annual Conference, Cardiff.
Bristow, G., Pill, M.C., Davies, R. and Drinkwater, S. (2011) “Stay, Leave or Return? Understanding Welsh Graduate Mobility”. WISERD Summer Conference, Swansea.
Bristow, G., Pill, M.C., and Davies, R. (2011) “Stay, Leave or Return? Understanding Graduate Mobility: the case of Wales”. Regional Studies Association Annual International Conference, Newcastle.
Davies, J.S and Pill, M.C. (2011) “Hollowing-out Neighbourhood Governance? Re-scaling Revitalization in Baltimore and Bristol”. Urban Affairs Association (UAA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans.
Pill, M.C. (2009). “How is neighbourhood-based governance being used, by whom and why? An investigation in Baltimore and Bristol”. UAA Annual Meeting, Chicago.
Pill, M.C. (2008). “Who is governing neighbourhoods? An investigation in Baltimore”. Joint Congress of the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and Association of European Schools of Planning, Chicago.
Pill, M.C. (2008). “Why neighbourhood governance? An investigation in Baltimore”. UAA Annual Meeting, Baltimore.
Pill, M.C. (2007). “What rationales are driving neighbourhood governance initiatives in the UK and US?” European Urban Research Association conference, Glasgow.
Pill, M.C. (2001). “Employer Assisted Housing: Competitiveness through Partnership”. National Housing Conference Symposium on Eliminating Housing Needs, Boston.
- MSc Regeneration Studies: Perspectives on Regeneration; Local Economic Development; Governance, Equity and Europe
- BSc City and Regional Planning/ BSc Human Geography: Issues in Local Government; Housing Policies and Systems
- MSc Social Science Research Methods: Evidence-Based Policymaking
- MA Urban Design: Developer and Community Perspectives
- Masters of Public Administration (Cardiff University Business School): Community Governance
University of Sydney
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning: Planning for Housing in New South Wales and England
University of Westminster
- MA Urban Regeneration: Neighbourhood governance; Sustainable Communities; Community Development Institutions and Financing.
Welsh Graduate Mobility (2010-12)
Research Associate at the ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) at the School of City and Regional Planning. This project found that whilst Wales is a net loser of graduates each year, notions of a clear and unequivocal ‘brain drain’ are too simplistic. Instead, complex patterns of graduate mobility reflect the complex push and pull forces shaping graduate movements and their evolution with graduate life cycles. These findings, illustrated with qualitative research into Welsh knowledge economy entrepreneurs, had a number of implications for economic development and Higher Education policy. These were explored via briefings and workshops with Welsh Government Assembly Members and officials, as well as officials from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Office of National Statistics, and Welsh universities. The research received national media coverage (Western Mail and BBC Wales).
Neighbourhood Management: Development of an Assessment Framework (2010-11)
Principal Investigator for this Welsh Government New Ideas Social Research Fund project. The research provided a robust, evidence-based assessment framework to assist policy development regarding the potential value of the neighbourhood management approach in Wales. It considers what lessons can be learnt from the neighbourhood management model for Wales, in terms of: the development of outcome-based approaches to public service management; and the future of neighbourhood-based initiatives such as the Communities First programme.
Neighbourhood Management in Westminster (2010)
Lead investigator on this project funded by the Paddington Development Trust and the University of Westminster, to analyse the ‘Westminster model’ of neighbourhood management. The research sought to fill gaps in the evidence base to inform decisions about the way forward for the neighbourhood management approach in the context of changing local and national policy direction and funding streams.
PhD research (2006-09): How Neighbourhood Governance Entities are Located within Broader Networks of Governance: a Cross-National Comparison
The research considered how neighbourhood-based governance entities are located in broader networks of governance, by undertaking an international comparative investigation in two cities (Baltimore, Maryland in the US and Bristol in England). It used an empirically-grounded approach to ascertain the function of such governance forms according to the way they are structured and operate. It assessed the governance context, focused at the urban level, within which these entities are located, considered the key actors and their relative power and the focus on deprived neighbourhoods versus broader strategies. This led to consideration of how these strategies and actors shape the functions of neighbourhood governance and the implications in terms of the relative power vested at the neighbourhood level.