Dr Debbie Humphry

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in the Histories of Community-Led Planning

School of the Built Environment

Debbie Humphry


I am a research associate on the Spaces of Hope / PeoplesPlans.org AHRC-funded research project, exploring hidden histories of community-led planning. Based at Oxford Brookes, we are working across the UK and with a cross-disciplinary team of academics from Sheffield, Cardiff, Queens Belfast and Middlesex universities. The project aims to reveal the often-overlooked ways in which local people and organisations have come together to improve their physical and social environments since the 1960s, sparking dialogue with contemporary place-shaping community groups to understand how historical understandings may still be useful. 


I have over 25 years of research experience, working with universities, activist campaigns, communities, voluntary and public sectors. My research connects the lived social and cultural experiences of home, neighbourhood and community to political-economic structural drivers at national and global scales, with a focus on addressing class inequalities and its intersections with disability, race and gender. I often use participatory and visual methods with the aim of foregrounding local knowledge and enhancing community action. I am an editor for City: analysis of urban change, theory, action and a member of the Homes for All campaign.

Selected Research

  • 2020. Community Voices for Holloway: local views on the Holloway Prison redevelopment: Community Plan for Holloway. Participative research, managing volunteers.
  • 2017.  Evaluating Carpenters Road Lock Heritage Lottery Project: Funding £9,000 Canal & Rivers Trust. Participative research. Community Film. CELS, University of East London.
  • 2016-2017    Research Assistant: Process Evaluation of Online Maths Pedagogy. Education Endowment Foundation, University of Sussex.
  • 2014 –2016.  Speaking out of Place: Experiences, East Village, Olympic Park: Funding £10,000 LLDC. Participatory research. Collaborative photography project & exhibitions. LivingMaps Network.
  • 2015-2020.  Research for Various Campaigns: Homes for All; Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC): Kentish Town Futures; Radical Housing Network
  • 2006-2008. Newtown Neighbourhood Project: Participatory action research. Training resident researchers. West Kent Extra, Real Strategies.
  • 2005.  Hyde Sports Inquiry: Participatory visual and walking research with young people; Exhibition, report. Goldsmiths University of London


Further details


Selected Publications    

  • Richter, A. and Humphry, D., 2021. Ja! Damit Berlin unser Zuhause bleibt! That Berlin will remain our home! حتى تظل برلين بيتنا Berlin evimiz kalsın diye! чтобы берлин оставался нашим домом Aby Berlin pozostał naszym domem!. City25(5-6), pp.561-569
  • Humphry, D., with Mayo, M. , Barbawoo, M and Panjwani, S.M.. 2021. Community Voices: what people want on the Holloway Prison redevelopment. Report, Community Plan for Holloway, London. March 2021
  • Humphry, D. with Schendler, B., Downie, S., Wasuge, S. and Kimbell, L. 2021. A Community Response to Knife Crime: Exploring Young People’s Needs. Report, Kentish Town Futures, London, March 2021.
  • Humphry, D., 2020. Campaigning in the time of coronavirus. City, 24(3-4) 423-430
  • Humphry, D., Clifford, E., Greene, A., Peters, P. and Walker, K., 2020. Introduction to, and Interview with, Disabled People Against Cuts. City, 24(1-2).
  • Humphry, D., 2020. From residualisation to individualization? Social tenants’ experiences in post-Olympics East Village. Housing, Theory and Society37(4), pp.458-480.
  • Humphry, D & Hampden-Thompson, G., 2019. Primary school pupils' emotional experiences of synchronous audio-led online communication during online one-to-one tuition. Computers & Education, 135: 100–112
  • Bernstock, P, Hall, T, Humphry, D, Price, H, 2018. Evaluation of the potential for University College London to ensure a meaningful legacy in East London, Report, UCL, July 2018.
  • Humphry, D., 2017. ‘The Best New Place to Live’? Visual Research with Residents in East Village and E20. In London 2012 and the Post-Olympics City. Palgrave Macmillan, London.
  • Bernstock, P, Butler, T, Humphry, D. 2017. Evaluation of Carpenters Road Lock: A Heritage Lottery funded project, London: Centre for East London Studies
  • Humphry, D. 2016. 'Rapid response to the London’s Housing Crisis and its Activisms Conference, associated with CITY’s Special Feature, CITY Vol 20 (3) May 2016
  • Humphry, D. 2016. ’Social housing tenants who feel demonised as second-class citizens’. Homes for All. The Guardian
  • Humphry, D (2013) ‘Inside Outside: a Visual Investigation of Belonging in a North London Neighbourhood’, in Home: International Perspectives on Culture, Identity and Belonging. Peter Lang International Academic Publishers.

Selected Presentations and Exhibitions

  • 2019. Residualisation to Individualisation: Housing in East Village RGS London and EUGO Galway.
  • 2018. Remembering Grenfell. RGS-IBG Earth Photo Exhibition. Guardian article.
  • 2017. East Village: where do we go from here? Regen. Committee, Greater London Assembly.
  • 2016. Responses and Opposition to the Housing and Planning Act’s Assault on Home Leeds University
  • 2013. Social Mixing, Social Capital, Social Mobility in a diverse London Neighbourhood RC21 Berlin.
  • 2015-16. My Place Your Place E20. Photography exhibition. Living Maps. London E15 & E20.