Planning, Policy and Governance (PPG)

About us

PPG focuses on the political and governmental practices of producing, maintaining and transforming space. With 17 staff members, we combine academic and practitioner interests, policy studies and practice-oriented research, and a commitment to develop planning theory and practice.

PPG members focus on a wide range of specialist and interdisciplinary research themes including:

  • Transportation and Mobility Studies
  • Diversity and Social Justice
  • Governance and Democracy
  • Housing Policy
  • Local and Regional Economic Development
  • Development and Urbanisation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Planning History.

Our research is with a variety of partners and funders including UKRI, EU, JRF, Leverhulme Trust, local and central government, NGOs and community groups.

View of city street

Research impact

Person cycling along city street

Our research has long been recognised for its real-world impact. It influences many spheres including public policy, professional practice and commercial activities, and there is ongoing engagement with stakeholders across the public, private and third sectors. In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, 100% of Brookes’ impact case studies were judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

An example is the cycle BOOM project, which won the Academic Award category at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Research Excellence in 2017. This was a 3-year study investigating how older people in the UK experience cycling and how this affects their independence, health and wellbeing. The study reinforced the need for cities to create a dedicated infrastructure for cycling along major roads, implement slower speed zones and support the growing market of electric bikes.


Dave Valler

Professor Dave Valler

Professor of Spatial Planning

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Name Role Email
Professor Sue Brownill Professor of Urban Policy and Governance
Dr Juliet Carpenter Reader in Housing and Urban Regeneration
Dr Youngha Cho Reader
Dr Bob Colenutt Associate Lecturer
Dr Debbie Humphry Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in the Histories of Community-Led Planning
Dr Maryam Mani Research Fellow in Healthy Living and Working Environments
Dr Beacon Mbiba Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning and International Development
Mr Dan Sames Lecturer in Planning
Dr Emma Skippings Senior Lecturer in Planning
Dr Michael Stubbs Associate Lecturer
Professor Steve Ward Professor of Planning History
Ms Elizabeth Wilson Associate Lecturer


Active projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates


A 4-year EU-funded project that brings together different actors, such as researchers, policymakers, residents and artists, to ‘co-create’ understanding about different urban neighbourhoods and to address disadvantage. The project is led by Oxford Brookes, in collaboration with 6 partner organisations: 3 NGOs in the EU: European Alternatives (Paris), City Mine(d) (Brussels), and Tesserae (Berlin); and three Universities: University of Bath (Bath), University of PUC-Rio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, Mexico City).
Professor Sue Brownill, Dr Juliet Carpenter European Commission From: January 2017

Spaces of Hope: Hidden Histories of Community Planning in the UK

Prof. Sue Brownill is leading a major Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project investigating Hidden Histories of Community Planning in the UK. Partners are the Universities of Sheffield, Queens Belfast, Cardiff and Middlesex, plus the Digital Humanities Unit also at Sheffield and the Town and Country Planning Association. Prof Glen O'Hara from Brookes' History department is Co-Investigator. The budget is c.£600,000 and the work involves 8 case studies plus the building of an online archive. Two full-time Research Assistants are employed - one at Sheffield and one at Oxford Brookes.
Professor Sue Brownill AHRC From: January 2021
Until: December 2022

Completed projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Cycle BOOM

Study to understand cycling among the older population and how this affected independence, health and wellbeing. Theultimate aim was to advise policy makers and practitioners how our environment and technologies could be designed to help people to continue to cycle in older age or to reconnect with cycling.
EPSRC From: October 2013
Until: September 2016

Healthy Urban Mobility (HUM)

Study to understand the impact of everyday (im)mobility on health and wellbeing with a variety of social groups living in different neighbourhoods in Brazil and the UK, and also to explore the potential for participatory mobilities planning with local communities to support and develop solutions for healthy urban mobility.

ESRC, Newton Fund, FAP-DF From: January 2016
Until: October 2019

Social Sustainability and Urban Regeneration Governance: An International Perspective (SURGE)

Juliet Carpenter received a Global Fellowship (£220,000) from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme for the project “Social Sustainability and Urban Regeneration Governance: An International Perspective (SURGE)”.
Dr Juliet Carpenter European Commission From: September 2017
Until: August 2020

Research areas

Transportation and Mobility Studies: Sustainable and healthy urban mobility; active travel; walking, cycling and micromobilities; environmental impacts; health and wellbeing; democratic and liveable spaces; everyday travel decisions and journey practice and experience.

Diversity and Social Justice: Urban diversity and equalities; mobility and diversity; territorial stigmatisation; the French banlieue; European urban policy.

Governance and Democracy: Urban policy and governance; public participation; community empowerment; neighbourhood planning; sub-national governance.

Housing Policy: Informal housing in the global south, low income housing, housing policy, affordable housing, housing market, private rented sector, housing mobility, housing for older people, housing and health care

Local and Regional Economic Development: Urban regeneration, community engagement.

Arts and Culture in Urban Development

Development and Urbanisation: Land conflicts; urban and peri-urban transformations; global citizenship; informal housing markets; home based enterprises in unplanned settlements; pro poor infrastructure delivery; urban diversity and equalities.

Strategic Planning: Sub-regions and city-regions; soft spaces; spatial imaginaries; infrastructure planning; planning for growth.

Planning History: Garden cities; transnationalism in planning thought; planning ideas and ideology.