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The Bartlett School of Planning is distinguished by the breadth of its research and its capacity to bring together multiple disciplinary perspectives on urban challenges. It is driven, firstly by a belief in the power of planning, public policy and urban design to positively shape the urban built environment for the benefit of wider society and secondly, by a conviction that only robust and innovative scholarship can deliver a fundamental understanding of urban problems.

The BSP aims, therefore, to (1) understand urbanism at all its scales (from neighbourhood to trans-national contexts, frequently with an international focus) and from multiple disciplinary perspectives (social science, real estate, transport and urban design); (2) support policy design and delivery (again at multiple scales of spatial planning, development and design); and (3) advance the theories and methods that frame the disciplines represented in the BSP (and chiefly methods that can be applied to understand urban governance, urban design and urban development).

The BSP environment and culture encourages bottom-up innovation in research directions and ideas, and is thus not organised into formal groupings, rather, research effort coalesces around several clear foci:

  1. urban design and design governance;
  2. transport systems and infrastructure (with effort partly contained in two formal research groups: SINTROPHER and OMEGA);
  3. urban and regional development and governance (encompassing a broad focus on multi-scalar spatial planning and urban politics, on city-marketing; on multiple aspects of post-suburbia and on housing delivery);
  4. urban regeneration, encompassing its cultural, social, political and real estate aspects.

Since 2008 the BSP has authored 23 books, co-edited 14 books, co-authored 258 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 103 chapters in books. Research has been published in a range of high impact urban studies and planning journals including: Environment and Planning A, B and C; Regional Studies; Urban Studies; International Journal of Urban and Regional Research; European Planning Studies; and Journal of the American Planning Association. Researchers have attracted a significant amount of research funding sources, including ESRC, EPSRC, AHRC, the British Academy, the European Union and charitable trusts including the Volvo Foundation and the RICS Research Trust.

The initiatives the BSP will take forward centre on design governance (for AHRC); on transport systems and infrastructure (supported by platform grants for our two research centres); on governance in European cities (for the EU); and a range of smaller projects addressing the cultural and property aspects of urban regeneration (e.g. on Business Improvement District funded by RICS education 2010). The BSP will continue to build capacity in areas of recent investment, including transport and real estate.

Research Areas

Urban Design and Design Governance
Transport Systems and Infrastructure
Urban Regeneration
Urban and Regional Development and Governance