Brookes wins Marie Curie Fellowship Grant for Compact Neighbourhood and Social Sustainability Research

Monday, 09 March 2015

Marie Curie grant

Oxford Brookes University has been awarded a £238,000 European Union Framework 7 Marie Curie Fellowship to undertake a research project on the contribution of compact neighbourhoods to social sustainability in London and Berlin.

The research project will investigate how compact urban form can promote the social sustainability of intermediate neighbourhood areas.  

The Marie Curie Fellow for the project, Dr Reza Shirazi, joined joined Oxford Brookes from TU Berlin.  He is an architect and urban planner with more than 13 years experience in teaching and interdisciplinary research in neighbourhood development, citizen participation, phenomenology of the built environment, socio-cultural sustainability, and architectural and urban transformation in the MENA cities (Middle East and North Affrica).

Dr Reza Shirazi said:

“This project will focus on the major European cities which face socio-cultural challenges, such as social segregation and cultural disintegration.  For this case the project will be studying London and Berlin.

We will study three key concepts during the project, from neighbourhood development, to compact urban form and social sustainability, and aim to shed light on how they all interconnet.”

The scientist in charge of the research is Professor Ramin Keivani, Director of the Real Estate and Land Policy Group in the University’s Department of Real Estate and Construction.  The work is co-supervised by Professor Georgia Butina Watson, Director of the Urban Design Group and Dr. Sue Brownill, a member of the Spatial Planning Group within the Department of Planning. 

We will study three key concepts during the project...and aim to shed light on how they all interconnet.

Dr Reza Shirazi

These research groups form part of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), which is one of the UK's largest research institutes dedicated to sustainable development research in the built and natural environments.

The project will enable researchers to provide the studied neighbourhoods with an Urban Form Enhancement Index. This will include recommendations and modifications which will further the capacity of the given neighbourhood to serve as an effective structural unit and socially sustainable community.