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Cities Research Centre

The Cities Research Centre leads research into the changing patterns of urban life, and how to make cities more inclusive, productive, and sustainable.

The Centre brings together scholars from across the University and external partners to understand and shape the city of the future.

It builds on the interdisciplinary expertise of our urban research community at the School of Geography and Planning and other departments at Cardiff University, to promote engagement, research, teaching and post-graduate training.

Aims

  • To design and take forward interdisciplinary and path-breaking research on inclusive, productive and sustainable cities.
  • To provide a focus for the School’s already extensive policy, advisory and stakeholder engagement activities on urban issues.
  • To disseminate research that helps meet today’s grand challenges around rapid urbanisation and sustainable cities and communities.
  • To support the training, career development and funding of researchers working on urban issues.

We are an international reference point for academic research and practical action, for inclusive, productive and sustainable cities.

We integrate and generate new research on changing patterns of urban life and how to create better cities in both developed and developing countries.

Research areas

We group our research under three main areas:

The Inclusive City

Research themes include:

  • wellbeing
  • healthy cities
  • social and spatial justice
  • access to housing
  • pluralism and diversity
  • alternative urbanisms
  • designing inclusive public space.

The Productive City

Research themes include:

  • urban economies
  • city regions
  • integrated transport
  • smart cities
  • competitiveness
  • clusters
  • service provision and co-production.

The Sustainable City

Research themes include:

  • resource-efficiency
  • urban metabolism
  • green infrastructure
  • urban planning
  • resilience
  • eco-cities
  • smart sustainability
  • access to food
  • low-carbon cities.

Selected publications

Project nameFundedInvestigator(s)
Post-conflict urban livelihoodsDFID-ESRC Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research, Project ES/M008789/1 (2015-2018)Pete Mackie, Alison Brown, Kate Dickenson
Urban Riots: A comparative study of Stockholm and LondonFORMAS, the Swedish Research CouncilAnthony Ince, Ilda Lindell (Stockholm University – Principal Investigator), Thomas Borén (Stockholm University).
Challenges and Solutions for Ageing High-Rise Neighbourhoods in Japan and the UKESRC-AHRCBrian Webb, Maxwell Hartt, James White (University of Glasgow), Michael Short (University College London), Yoshimichi Yui (Hiroshima University), Taro Hirai (Hirosaki National University), Akihiko Osawa (Takasaki City University of Economics), Sayaka Fujii (University of Tsukuba).
Urban refugee economies, EthiopiaInternational Institute for Environmental and DevelopmentPete Mackie, Alison Brown, Kate Dickenson
Deepening habitat III debates on the urban informal economyEconomic & Social Research Council, Un-Habitat, WIEGOAlison Brown
The impact of austerity on city governments in the UKNA - This research has been undertaken in collaboration with various city governments in the UK.Crispian Fuller
European Public Space Design Programs with Social Cohesion and Intercultural dialogue in mindCUROP 2017 and 2018, Cities Research Centre Seed Funding 2017 and RMIT Exchange Grant 2018.Patricia Aelbrecht, Gary Bridge, Richard Gale, Quentin Stevens (RMIT, Australia/Barcelona), Tom Nielsen (Aarhus School Denmark)
Comparative Study on European Public Space Design Programs with Social Cohesion in mindCardiff UniversityPatricia Aelbrecht, Richard Gale, Gary Bridge
The Nexus of Smart Cities and Energy: A Scoping Survey of Urban StrategiesSchool of Geography and PlanningOleg Golubchikov
Prosperous cities at the top of the urban hierarchyCardiff UniversityGeoff DeVerteuil

Academic staff

Professor Robert Huggins

Professor Robert Huggins

Professor of Economic Geography, Director of Research and Innovation

Email:
hugginsr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6006
Professor Peter Madden

Professor Peter Madden

Professor of Practice in City Futures

Email:
maddenp1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2251 0949
Dr Crispian Fuller

Dr Crispian Fuller

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

Email:
fullerc2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4705
Professor Gary Bridge

Professor Gary Bridge

Professor of Human Geography

Email:
bridgeg@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2068 8681
Professor Alison Brown

Professor Alison Brown

Professor of Urban Planning & International Development

Email:
brownam@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6519
Dr Geoff DeVerteuil

Dr Geoff DeVerteuil

Reader of Social Geography

Email:
deverteuilg@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6089
Dr Günter Gassner

Dr Günter Gassner

Lecturer in Urban Design

Email:
gassnerg@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0)29 2087 4640
Dr Oleg Golubchikov

Dr Oleg Golubchikov

Reader in Human Geography

Email:
golubchikovo@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 9310
Dr Yi Gong

Dr Yi Gong

Research Fellow

Email:
gongy2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0) 29 2087 0955
Dr Maxwell Hartt

Dr Maxwell Hartt

Lecturer in Spatial Planning

Email:
harttm1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5281
Dr Kersty Hobson

Dr Kersty Hobson

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Email:
hobsonk@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2068 8682
Dr Anthony Ince

Dr Anthony Ince

Lecturer in Human Geography

Email:
incea@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6014
Dr Hesam Kamalipour

Dr Hesam Kamalipour

Lecturer in Urban Design and Planning

Email:
kamalipourh@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4463
Dr Patricia Lopes Simoes Aelbrecht

Dr Patricia Lopes Simoes Aelbrecht

Lecturer in Urban Design

Email:
aelbrechtp@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5735
Dr Brian MacGillivray

Dr Brian MacGillivray

Research Fellow

Email:
macgillivraybh@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0) 29 2087 6132
Dr Peter Mackie

Dr Peter Mackie

Reader

Email:
mackiep@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6223
Professor Paul Milbourne

Professor Paul Milbourne

Head of the School of Geography and Planning

Email:
milbournep@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5791
Dr Kirstie O'Neill

Dr Kirstie O'Neill

Lecturer in Environmental Geography

Email:
oneillk1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6271
Professor Scott Orford

Professor Scott Orford

Professor in Spatial Analysis and GIS, Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies

Email:
orfords@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5272
Dr Dimitris Potoglou

Dr Dimitris Potoglou

Senior Lecturer in Transport and Applied Choice Analysis

Email:
potogloud@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0)2920876088
Dr Georgina Santos

Dr Georgina Santos

Senior Lecturer

Email:
santosg@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4462
Dr Brian Webb

Dr Brian Webb

Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning

Email:
webbb1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 208 74709
Dr Andrew Williams

Dr Andrew Williams

Lecturer in Human Geography

Email:
williamsapj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
 +44 (0)29 2068 8680
Dr Li Yu

Dr Li Yu

Reader

Email:
yul@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 208 79333

Visit the School of Geography and Planning Events page if you're interested in related topics.

Cities Research Seminar

We held a one-day seminar on Wednesday 5 June focused on designing and taking forward interdisciplinary and path-breaking research on addressing the challenge of fostering inclusive, productive and sustainable cities.

In the context of increasing urbanisation across the world, the advent of ‘smart cities’ and a host of challenges facing the UK’s cities, along with growing academic attention, political interest and research funding increasingly focusing on the urban agenda, the seminar examined and discussed how to improve collaboration across the University and beyond.

Cardiff University has a range of world-class capabilities related to urban issues across diverse disciplines. The aim of the Cities Research Centre is to help bring these together, to build partnerships across the University and externally, and to win funding for groundbreaking research.

We work on three thematic areas, which informed the content of the Seminar:

  • the Inclusive City
  • the Productive City
  • the Sustainable City

We aim to generate new research on changing patterns of urban life and how to create better cities in both developed and Global South countries.

This cross-University Seminar featured presentations from external partners and internal experts to help frame thinking about research needs and impact. Paul Orders, CEO of Cardiff Council, set out Cardiff’s challenges and opportunities as a fast-growing city, and addressed areas we are already working together and how we can collaborate in the future. Dr Yolande Herbath, Business Innovation Director at the Connected Places Catapult, explained their approach and their renewed focus on working with Wales.

Dr Heike Doering, Lecturer at Cardiff Business School and Malu Villela Garcia Bristol University looked at Economic Development and Regulation in Cities. Professors Rob Huggins and Peter Madden of Cardiff University outlined the ambitions of the Cities Research Centre, while Dr Richard Bromiley gave a steer on the funding landscape.

Dr Crispian Fuller, Senior Lecturer at the School of Geography and Planning steered the afternoon conversations examining opportunities to network and build collaborations.

The City of the Future: Productive, Inclusive, Resource-efficient?

Professor Chris Rogers, Birmingham University, Professor Duncan Wilson, UCL CASA,  Professor Elena Simperl, University of Southampton and Isabelle Bignall, CTO at Cardiff City Council will examined how the development of ‘smart cities’ and related tools such as big data, connected sensors and cognitive computing can help to understand and tackle urban challenges.

Their presentations can be found in related downloads.

Liveable Cities Debate

Sir Simon Jenkins and other speakers addressed the impact of bad planning and indiscriminate development on the nation’s quality of life.

Governing Urban Futures: Smart Cities and postcolonial urbanism in India

In this seminar, Dr Ayona Datta, Reader in Urban Futures, King's College London, delivered a postcolonial reading of India’s historiographies of ‘good governance’ and its projection into smart urban futures.

Planning for the Just City

Professor Susan S. Fainstein, a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University, presented an event based on her new book ‘The Just City’.

Saving our Cities: a progressive plan to transform urban America

Professor William Goldsmith discussed his new book, Saving Our Cities: A Progressive Plan to Transform Urban America, arguing that the time is right for U.S. cities and city planners to push for more enlightened state and federal action.

Cities: Ensuring Prosperity, Equality and Well-Being

Adam Price (Welsh Assembly Member) and Andrew Carter (Centre for Cities) discussed how cities around the world are increasingly facing multi-dimensional and multi-scale challenges as they seek to create prosperous, socially inclusive and liveable urban environments.