To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video
A close-up of Broadcasting Place, City Campus

People and Places


People and Places

One of the overwhelming challenges facing society and policymakers today is how to meet both the economic and social needs of populations in a sustainable way.

In addition, to support this theme, we have set up the Centre for Urban Development and Environmental Management (CUDEM) which provides a focus for the research of academics in the Planning, Housing and Human Geography group. It offers an interdisciplinary environment for staff to engage in academic inquiry and policy-related research. Staff research focuses on spatial planning, urban governance and regeneration, green infrastructure, culture and heritage-based regeneration, housing policy and international planning perspectives. The research and scholarly activity of staff within the Planning, Housing and Geography group will continue to underpin curriculum development and the assessment, learning and teaching of its PG provision.

This research theme is focused on:

  • Creating better and more research-informed policy on the sustainable management of spaces and places.
  • Providing policy analysis and evaluation that contributes to making stronger and more resilient communities.
Research Expertise
  • Dr Quintin Bradley
    Dr. Quintin Bradley is Senior Lecturer in Planning and Housing, and leads post-graduate study in planning, housing and regeneration at the School of Built Environment & Engineering. He is active in research in the fields of housing studies, community engagement, and social policy.
  • Karen Horwood
    Karen is a Senior Lecturer in the Planning, Housing and Human Geography group. She lectures across the human geography and planning courses. Karen is currently completing her PhD.
  • David Hemming
    David Hemming is the Head of Estates. He has worked with staff and consultant teams to develop innovative spaces which create flexible and interesting areas in which to live, collaborate, learn and socialise.
  • Professor Ian Strange
    Ian Strange is Professor of Spatial Planning and Head of the Centre for Urban Development and Environmental Management (CUDEM) at Leeds Beckett University. His research and teaching expertise lies within the areas of urban regeneration and governance, spatial planning and arts, cultural and heritage policy.

Case Studies

Wakefield Kirkgate Masterplan

Working alongside MA Urban Design students the project is to develop a number of strategies to connect Wakefield Kirkgate Station with the Hepworth Gallery and the city centre.

Knottingley Hilltop Urban Design Framework

This project provides short-to-medium term design concepts to improve the town centre of Knottingley through public realm improvements that will connect Hilltop to the rest of town and the Aire and Calder Navigation. This project will be incorporated into the long-term vision for Knottingley and Ferrybridge.

Kirklees Council

This project explores the effectiveness of low carbon economy strategies, especially those involving green energy production. The project involved an assessment of contextual developments relating to the European Roadmap to 2050 and Coalition Government policy and regional priorities. A key part of this was a comparison of different approaches in advanced EU city regions such as Hamburg, Copenhagen and Gothenburg and evaluating their potential to utilise Structural Funds in the 2014-2020 programmes.

Sustainable Urban Rural Fringes

Towards the end of 2012 (with 13 partners across North West Europe), CUDEM completed a three year €4.6million Interreg project (SURF – Sustainable Urban rural Fringes) to explore how to enable urban fringe areas to realise the maximum potential and to help them contribute and add value to the competitiveness and sustainability of nearby cities. The way, for instance, that such areas provide ‘green infrastructure’ and other assets that can be critical to urban functioning, such as water supply and treatment, waste recycling, energy production was examined.

Bradford Worth Valley

In Jan 2013, CUDEM completed a follow up project for the Bradford Worth Valley on how urban fringe communities engage with policy-making and governance to tackle common problems and challenges of competitiveness and sustainability specifically in the Leeds City Region. This was a particularly timely investigation which allowed the charting of the effect of profound change – politically and economically – on urban fringe communities and their relationships with the adjacent communities and city centres.

Research Leadership Awards: Localism, community rights and engagement

The research project aims to be a catalyst for sustainable community development in the region. The intention of the project is to enhance the development of resilient communities by addressing the new opportunities for engagement in the democratic process opened up in the localism agenda. The research will investigate the extent to which the new ‘community rights’ of the Localism Act 2011 enhance feelings of engagement in the democratic process and assess the new practices of democracy and citizenship being constructed through the work of community groups and their neighbourhood plans.

ESRC Economic Centres Evaluation

Working in conjunction with the Policy Studies Institute and the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) this project evaluates the ways in which research conducted by ESRC research centres has been utilised and applied by policy makers and practitioners, and other non-academic research users. Its key aims are to:

  1. Assess and describe the degree to which the Centres’ research and related activities have contributed to, or influenced the development of policy or practice, or have prevented unattractive policies from being implemented or expanded
  2. Evaluate the processes through which impacts have been generated
  3. Identify and analyse the determinants of the impacts identified (i.e. why and how impact has been generated)
TSB/ESRC Impact Evaluation of the Future Cities Demonstrator Projects

Working with the Policy Studies Institute this project evaluates the ways in which the Future Cities Demonstrator Feasibility Study process helped Local Authorities accelerate their Future Cities programmes. Its key aims are to:

  1. Assess and describe the extent to which participation in the competition has increased collaboration and conversation around the future needs of cities, for example influencing discussions on economic strategy, development plans and procurement plans
  2. Quantitatively assess the amount of further leveraged funding arising as a result of the outputs of the feasibility study process where these can be attributed

Identify good practice and lessons learned, to support the development feasibility study processes and subsequent impact generation.

Pride of Place: LGBTQ Heritage and The Built Environment

Pride of Place is a ground-breaking research project exploring the relationship between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) heritage and the built environment. The project aims to show that LGBTQ heritage is a fundamental part of our national heritage and to improve knowledge of, and access to, this history.

This collaborative initiative with Historic England (formerly English Heritage) investigates the buildings and places associated with LGBTQ history, including the private houses of influential individuals, urban gay bars and even the first UK venues to host equal marriage ceremonies.

Using innovative crowdsourcing and mapping techniques, the result is a map of England that identifies locations and landscapes across the country that hold a sometimes hidden, sometimes public, LGBTQ significance and history.