Alain Chiaradia is a director of Space Syntax – the urban design consultancy who previously led the field of spatial network analysis, that is, until Alain commissioned the sDNA project! Alain has experience of working on award winning public projects (Stockwell, Elephant & Castle and Ilford) and private sector projects, undertaking work ranging in scale from architecture options studies to strategic urban design and regeneration projects and large scale spatial strategy. In recent years Alain has worked on masterplanning projects for a wide range of clients in a number of contrasting locations. Recent projects include Area Action Plan (part of the Local Development framework) Ilford Town Centre, an East London opportunity area,Oxford West End, Croydon, Walthamstow and Ealing Town Centre, Elephant and Castle (London opportunity area, SPG), Borough Framework, Urban II Safe and Easy movement in Stockwell project EU funded, Millennium Quarter, and Stratford City in London. He was a steering group member of The Joseph Rowntree Foundation research on public spaces and of CABE research of the economic value of street design. He is part of the team that is preparing the emerging GLA wide Public Realm Strategy advising on the creation of the GIS evidence base. Alain has recently won the Urbanbuzz largest project award funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund. The aim of the project is to transfer to the public sector knowledge and practice essential to deliver sustainable community.
Professor Chris Webster is head of the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography, where he has been teaching and researching since 1984. A strong advocate of quantitative methods, he is working on the incorporation of sDNA into existing practice. Before taking up a university post he worked as an urban planner in London and as an economic modeller in a development bank in Bangkok. He is often regarded as an economist because of his style of analysis, but most of his economics has, in fact, been learnt on the job. He is committed to interdisciplinary research, believing that triangulation across paradigms and methods leads to greater insight than is often found in mono-disciplinary scholarship. Since 1999 he has co-organised a multi-disciplinary network investigating the global spread of gated communities and private urban governance. Over the years he has also worked on a variety of training projects with UN agencies and has always maintained an Asian strand in his research portfolio. He first visited mainland China in 1983 and is currently running an ESRC/DFID project investigating the evolution of property rights and urban poverty in six Chinese cities. He is probably one of the only professors anywhere to be an editor of both a research journal (co-editor of Environment and Planning B) and a teaching journal (founding editor of CEBE Transactions). His commitment to excellence in teaching and to maintaining a healthy teaching-research-practice link within universities led him to set up the Centre for Education in the Built Environment, which he has directed since 2000.
Dr Crispin Cooper is sDNA’s lead developer. His research background was initially in Computer Science; with a degree from Cambridge University he went to work in Intelligent Systems for the University of York, where he helped to develop microchips capable of evolution, growth, self-repair and learning. After a brief stint in industry, he decided to develop his interests in sustainable development, first working as a project volunteer in Uganda during 2006. Crispin then completed his PhD at Cardiff University’s Department of City and Regional Planning, using high performance computing to visualise and model large quantities of housing market and socioeconomic data collected from the UK census and Land Registry. He now works for Cardiff University Sustainable Places Research Institute, with current research interests lying in the application of information technology to sustainability problems, either from the perspective of traditional modelling, or through creating tools for networking and public engagement. He is a member of the PLACE panel advising Cardiff Council on sustainability strategy.