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Dr Abid Mehmood

Dr Abid Mehmood


School of Geography and Planning

+44 (0)29 2087 6232
1.76, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


My broader expertise is in social innovation and sustainable development. I have research experience in climate change, renewable energy transitions, international development, and social cohesion for local and regional planning, policy and practice. 

Leader of the Cities and sustainable places research group (#SDGAction28077)

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  • PhD, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, UK
  • Research Masters (DEA) in Regional Development, University of Lille, France.
  • MBA in Management Information Systems, Hamdard University, Pakistan
  • BSc in Geology, Karachi University, Pakistan

Visiting and Honourable Positions

  • Visiting Fellow, Curtin University, Perth, Australia (2019)
  • Visiting Scholar, Renmin University, Beijing, China (2017)
  • Visiting Scholar, Beijing Normal University, China (2016)
  • Visiting Academic, Middle East Technical University Ankara, Turkey (2013-14)
  • Visiting Academic, KTH Stockholm, Sweden (2010-11)
  • Visiting Fellow, Newcastle University, UK (2010-11)
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Naples Federico II, Italy (2009)
  • Visiting Academic, University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy (2007-08)
  • Visiting Academic, Harokopio University of Athens, Greece (2004-05)
  • Research Fellow, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) Lille, France (2001-02)

Expert and Advisory roles

  • External Advisor, Flemish Council of Universities and University Colleges - VLUHR (since 2018)
  • External Examiner, KU Leuven Belgium and Gran Sasso Science Institute Italy (since 2017)
  • Expert Advisor, Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Pakistan (since 2015)
  • External Expert Adviser, Senedd Cymru | Welsh Parliament (since 2014)

Reviewing for Research Councils

  • European Commission
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK
  • Economic and Social Research Council, UK
  • Medical Research Council, UK
  • Natural Environment Research Council, UK
  • Austrian Science Fund (FWF)
  • National Science Centre Poland
  • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • The Research Council of Norway
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
  • Czech Ministry of Education Youth and Sports

Journal reviewing

ArcPlan; disP-The Planning Review; Environment and Planning A; Environmental Politics; Environmental Planning and Management; Environmental Policy and Planning; European Journal of Innovation Management; European Planning Studies; Journal of Research in Architecture and Planning; International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development; Local Environment; Planning Theory; Planning Theory and Practice; Policy and Society; SAGE Open; Social Forces; Studies in Social Justice; Town Planning Review; Journal of Urban Design; Urban Studies.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow, Royal Geographical Society
  • Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UK (since 2007)
  • Innovation Network
  • UN-HABITAT University Network Initiative
  • European Spatial Development & Planning Network
  • International Network on Social Innovation, Sustainable Development and Territory (INSIST)


  • Steering Committee, Community Gateway, Cardiff University (2015-16)

Speaking engagements

  • 2021: ‘What role could civil society play in restoration of built environment?’, Panel talk, Restoring Nature and Built Environment webinar (17 May)
  • ‘Who needs social innovation’, Housing, Social and Wellbeing Workshop, University of Cape Town (14 April)
  • 2021: 'Planning for Climate Change', KU Leuven, Belgium (22 March)
  • 2021: Social Innovators and Change makers, Birmingham City University Graduate+ seminar (8 March)
  • 2021: Social innovation and entrepreneurship, MSSCF event, Discover your Entrepreneurship Journey (27 February)
  • 2020: Raising climate change awareness in mountain regions, Webinar on the Hindukush-Himalaya Region (12 December)
  • 2020: Should we act on climate change? Cardiff-NED webinar on research, practice and policy challenges of climate change (2 December)
  • 2020: 'Nature-inspired approaches for integrative urban planning and design', School of Cities, University of Toronto (18 November)
  • 2020: 'Social Innovators as Change Makers', ACF Changemakers Seminar, Cardiff (30 October)
  • 2020: 'Planning for Climate Change', KU Leuven, Belgium (March)
  • 2019: 'Responsible and Inclusive Planning through Digital Social Innovation', State of the Australian Cities Conference, Perth, Australia (3-5 December)
  • 2019: ‘Planning for the Hothouse Earth’, KU Leuven, Belgium (March)
  • 2018: 'Experiences of large field surveys in rural areas: Lessons from Pakistan’, RGS-IBG Annual Conference, Cardiff, UK (28-31 August)
  • 2018: ‘Planning for Climate Change’, KU Leuven, Belgium (April)
  • 2017: ‘Social Innovation for Social and Political Transformation’, Planning Seminar at School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand (18 December)
  • 2017: ‘Social innovation and governance for sustainable place-making’ short course, Renmin University of China (October)
  • 2017: ‘Social Innovation and Restorative Justice’, RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London, UK (29 August – 1 September)
  • 2017: 'Making justice accessible through social innovation', International Conference Making Space for Socio-spatial and Socio-ecological Justice, University of the Aegean, Mytilini, Greece (3-5 July)
  • 2017: ‘Resilient places and communities’, KU Leuven, Belgium (April)
  • 2016: Series of lectures on social innovation and sustainable development, Beijing Normal University, China (Nov-Dec)
  • 2016: (Co-chair) ‘Community development, land tenure and social innovation’, United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development - Habitat III, Quito, Ecuador (20 October)
  • 2016: (Keynote) 'Social innovation: from minority sport to game changer’, Habitat III, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito (18 October)
  • 2016: (Chair)  ‘Regeneration, Learning, Experiencing – Three perspectives on the transformative capacity of sustainable place-shaping’ Roundtable session at the UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference, Cardiff, UK (6 September)
  • 2016: ‘Justice and Social Innovation: Mobile courts in Pakistan’, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) Annual Conference, Swansea University, UK (13-14 July)
  • 2016: ‘Climate Change Resilience in Planning’, KU Leuven, Belgium (April)
  • 2016: ‘Place based planning for urban resilience’, Planning Seminar at School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand (15 February)
  • 2016: ‘Social Innovation and Ethnic Entrepreneurship’, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Centre (SIERC) Conference, Collaborating for Impact, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand (10-12 February)
  • 2015: Invited Talk ‘Urban and Regional Development Trajectories in Contemporary Capitalism’ at IJUS Special Session Towards a Neo-Structural Methodology for Urban and Regional Development Analysis, 55th Annual Conference of Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Justice and The City: (re)Examining the Past to Create the Future, Houston TX, USA (22 October)
  • 2015: ‘Resilience and Climate Change in Planning’, KU Leuven, Belgium (March)
  • 2014: (Keynote) ‘Planning for Resilience: Climate change adaptation strategy for London’, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan (August)
  • 2014: ‘Resilient entrepreneurship: The case of ethnic minority entrepreneurs in the UK’, South Asian International Conference, Islamabad, Pakistan (11-13 August)
  • 2014: ‘Sustainability, Resilience and Climate Change in Planning’, KU Leuven, Belgium (March)
  • 2013: ‘Social innovation in an unsustainable world’, Research Network for Social Enterprise (EMES) Conference If not for profit? For what? And how? Liège, Belgium (1-4 July)
  • 2013: ‘Social innovation and sustainable development’, Regional Studies Association Annual Conference Shape and be Shaped: The Future Dynamics of Regional Development, Tampere, Finland (5-8 May)
  • 2013: ‘Planning for Climate Change’, Middle East Technical University Ankara, Turkey (12 April)
  • 2013: ‘Climate change and planning’, KU Leuven, Belgium (March)
  • 2012: ‘Urban sustainability: Between mimetics and metaphors’, International conference Sustainability Through Biomimicry: Discovering a World of Solutions Inspired by nature, Dammam, Saudi Arabia (26-27 November)
  • 2012: ‘innovation/social/resilience’, Urban Symposium on Justice and the City, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK (16 November)
  • 2012: ‘Social innovation and resilience: A view towards risk governance’, Cardiff International Conference on Sustainable Place-Making, Cardiff, UK (29-30 October)
  • 2012: (Davoudi, S., Brookes, E. and Mehmood, A.) ‘Evolutionary resilience as a strategy for climate change governance’, Cardiff International Conference on Sustainable Place-Making, Cardiff, UK (29-30 October)
  • 2012: ‘Governance and social innovation for social and ecological transition’, Tipping Points Annual Conference, University of Durham, UK (2-3 July)
  • 2012: ‘Social innovation and resilience’, Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Networked regions and cities in times of fragmentation: Developing smart, sustainable and inclusive places, Delft, Netherlands (13-16 May)
  • 2012: ‘Planning in an Unsustainable World’, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 2012: ‘(Re)-Placing Utopia: On the perils of abstract ideologies’, International Symposium, Beyond Utopia: Crisis, values and the socialities of nature, University of California Santa Barbara, USA (1-3 March)
  • 2011: ‘Spatial planning and the governance of ecological settlements in the UK’, Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Regional Development and Policy Development – Challenges, Choices & Recipients, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK (17-20 April)
  • 2011: ‘Spatial Planning in Pakistan: Opportunities and Challenges’, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 2011: ‘Sustainability in Planning’ KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 2010: ‘Adaptation and Resilience: Securing Regional Futures Through Alliances’, 24th Congress of the Association of European Schools of Planning, Space is Luxury, Helsinki, Finland (7-10 July)
  • 2010: ‘The Weaker Links: Marine Spatial Planning and the Developing Countries’, Marine Spatial Planning Symposium Stepping into the Water: A New Domain for Spatial Planning, Sheffield Hallam University, UK (21 May)
  • 2009: ‘Use of Metaphors in Social Science Analysis’, University of Naples Federico II, Italy
  • 2009: ‘Spatial planning responses to climate change: Climate change vulnerability and planning challenges for small islands’, 23rd Congress of the Association of European Schools of Planning, Why can’t the future be more like the past?, Liverpool, UK (15-18 July)
  • 2009: ‘University as a network institution’, ESDP Network conference, Contemporary Society and Cultural Shifts in Public Policy, Aveiro, Portugal (22-23 June)
  • 2009: ‘Analysing socioeconomic development on small islands: Need for a multidisciplinary approach’, Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Understanding and Shaping Regions: Spatial, Social and Economic Futures, Leuven, Belgium (6-8 April)
  • 2009: ‘European spatial planning and the role of cities on small islands’, Annual UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference, Unequal Places: Planning and Territorial Cohesion, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK (1-3 April)
  • 2007: ‘Planning for diversity: planning for islands’, International Congress on New concepts and approaches for Urban and Regional Policy and Planning? Leuven, Belgium (2-3 April)
  • 2007: ‘Analysing regional development: From territorial innovation to path dependent development’, International Congress on New concepts and approaches for Urban and Regional Policy and Planning?, Leuven, Belgium (2-3 April)

















My lectures, seminars and tutorials cover topics around social innovation, sustainable development, climate change, energy transitions and urban resilience.

Current teaching

  • Planning for sustainability, MSc (Module leader)
  • Renewable energy development and planning, MSc (Module leader)
  • Key issues in urban planning, Year 1 (Module leader)

Previous teaching

  • Critical Perspectives in Social Science, MSc (Contributor)
  • Spatial Planning, Theory and Practice, MSc (University of Leuven, Belgium)
  • Environmental Policy and Climate Change, MSc (Contributor)
  • Community, Sustainable Health and Well-being, Professional Doctorate (Contributor)
  • Web and Social Computing, MSc (Contributor)
  • Power, Politics, and Policy, Year 2 (Contributor)

I have participated in research and consultancy projects for a range of organisations including DEFRA, ESRC, EPSRC, HEFCW, Royal Academy of Engineering and the European Commission.

Projects and grants

  • Royal Academy of Engineering UK, Frontiers Champions Award  (Principal Investigator) ‘Sustainable Pathways for Renewable Energy Transition’, FC-2122-2-21 (2021-22)
  • with Marchesi et al., Innovation for All – Public Engagement Proof‐of‐Concept Fund 2021-22, ‘CircuPLAY – a CIRcular CommUnity PLAYful platform’ (2021-22)
  • with Jamal A 'Financial empowerment of women through enterpreneurship in Pakistan', HEFCW-GCRF Network Award (2021)
  • Interplay between density, design, and wellbeing towards developing resilient cities’, Royal Academy of Engineering (2020-21)
  • with Moghayedi A 'Sustainable Innovative Affordable Housing Initiatives (SIAH-I)', Royal Academy of Engineering (2020-21)
  • with Rajendran L ‘Re-visioning Peripheral Geographies: Strategies for resilient urban development in the Global South’, Royal Academy of Engineering (2020-21)
  • with Behzadian K et al ‘Strategic planning of urban water reuse interventions for community resilience’, Royal Academy of Engineering (2020-21)
  • with Matsika et al ‘Inclusive and accessible public transport system for women and PRMs’, Royal Academy of Engineering (2020-21)
  • with Pala A ‘Community Interest Litigation as a tool for sustainable development in Lesotho’. GCRF Facilitation Grant (2020-21)
  • 'Co-producing plans and strategies for community-based climate action’. ESRC/GCRF Impact Acceleration Award (2020)
  • with Pala A ‘Developing the impact of Community Interest Litigation for sustainable development', ESRC/GCRF Impact Acceleration Award (2020)
  • with Swensen G 'Sustainable Adaptation - Resilience in Urban Regeneration'. Research Council of Norway (2019-21)
  • with Brown A and Mackie P ‘Economic Recovery in Post-Conflict Cities: The Role of the Urban Informal Economy’. ESRC-DFID. ES/M008789/1 (2016-19)
  • 'Institutional change for sustainable placemaking'. International Collaboration Seedcorn Fund (2017-18)
  • 'Towards an agenda for sustainable food governance'. Cardiff University – KU Leuven Joint Collaboration Fund (2017)
  • with Rana O ‘Information Models for the "Sharing Economy"’. Cardiff University CUROP grant (2016)
  • with Roep D et al ‘Sustainable Place-Shaping’ SUSPLACE. European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN  (2015-19)
  • 'Low Carbon Planning, Innovation and Management'. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) DTC Award, co-funded with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (2015-18)
  • 'Making sense of financial consumption for ethnic minorities in Wales'. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) DTC Award (2014-18) in collaboration with Islamic Banking and Finance Centre (IBFC) UK
  • 'Sustainable Urban Regeneration', European Commission Erasmus Intensive Programme (2013-14)
  • 'Biodiversity and Food Security: Developing Collaborative Policy for Seagrass Conservation in Turks and Caicos Islands'. Darwin Initiative DEFRA for UK Overseas Territories Challenge Fund, Round 18 (2012-13)
  • International seminar series on Environmental Governance. Cardiff University Graduate College (2011-12)
  • 'Planning Responses to Climate Change in the North East England'. Newcastle University Humanities Arts and Social Sciences Research Fund (2009-10)
  • 'Adaptation and Resilience in Cities: Analysis and Decision making using Integrated Assessment' ARCADIA. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (2009-10)
  • 'Social Platform on Cities and Social Cohesion' SOCIALPOLIS. European Commission FP7 (2008-10)
  • 'Growing Inequality and Social Innovation: Alternative Knowledge and Practice in Overcoming Social Exclusion in Europe' KATARSIS. European Commission FP6 (2006-09)
  • 'Development Models and Logics of Socioeconomic Organization in Space' – DEMOLOGOS. European Commission FP6 (2004-07)


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas:

  • Social innovation
  • Global development related challenges
  • Energy transitions
  • Sustainable development and climate emergency
  • Environmental planning
  • Social and public policy and governance
  • Resilience thinking

Current supervision

Muhammed Ahmed

Research student

Catia Rebelo

Catia Rebelo

Research student

Som Wolf

Research student

Past projects

Completed PhD theses

  • Lorena Axinte (Marie Curie ITN) 'Regenerative city-regions? A case study of Cardiff Capital Region and its future generations' (Awarded 2020)
  • Kate O’Sullivan (ESRC +3) ‘The Impacts of Energy Transitions on Vulnerable Peripheral Communities in National Parks’ (Awarded 2020)