Dr Richmond Ehwi

PhD Land Economy (Cambridge, UK), MPhil Planning, Growth & Regeneration (Cambridge, UK), BSc Land Economy (KNUST), FHEA

Senior Lecturer in Town Planning

School of the Built Environment

Richmond Ehwi


I am both a research active and teaching staff. I joined Oxford Brookes University as a Senior Lecturer in Town Planning in September 2023. My role falls under three main areas, namely: 1) Teaching, which includes curriculum design, delivering lectures and tutorials, 2) Research, encapsulating the design, conduct, and dissemination of research output, and leading knowledge exchange and research impact activities, and 3), Administration, which includes serving as Unity of Assessment 13 Coordinator for the 2028 Research Excellence Framework.

Before taking this post, I was a Research Associate at the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR), based at the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, for four years (2019 – 2023). At CCHPR, I initiated and led research on citizen engagement, ethical decision-making, and governance of smart city projects, with the co-creative stakeholder engagement framework using a life-cycle approach. A national guidance on stakeholder engagement for smart city and digital infrastructure projects was among the key achievements

My areas of expertise include:

  • Gated communities and new cities
  • Smart cities ethics, governance and stakeholder engagement
  • Rental housing policymaking
  • Modular homes for homelessness
  • Planning net zero carbon housing
  • Land administration and land tenure security

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

The courses I teach on include:

  • BSc Real Estate
  • MSc Real Estate
  • MSc Spatial Planning
  • MSc Construction Project Management

I will be leading these postgraduate modules from January 2024:

  • PMAN7009 – Applied Research Methods
  • REST7021 - Applied Research Methods (Distance Learning)

I also co-teach the following courses:

  • PMAN7019 - Governance and Political
  • ESTM6021 – ESG and the Built Environment


Doctoral research supervision

I welcome proposals from prospective doctoral candidates whose research interests align with mine. When making the initial contact, ensure that you attach  your curriculum vitae and brief summary of your proposed research topic to your email.

Masters and undergraduate supervision

  • I am supervising postgraduate dissertations from the MSc Project Management Course (PMAN 7010).
  • I am supervising two undergraduate dissertations on 1) The decline of the UK highstreet and 2) Household and community benefits of low carbon housing.



Research Agenda

I am currently leading five research projects, each of which holds significant importance to me. 

Systematic Review on Gated Communities

  • Building on my keen interest in gated communities research, I am spearheading a global systematic review of literature on gated communities since 1991. The aim is to understand the evolution of the subject in relation to contemporary exigencies, set new research agendas, and explore debates on the use of theory in gated community literature across both the Global North and South. Additionally, the project examines the fidelity of social science researchers to the various components of research methods from different research paradigms.

Net-Zero Carbon Housing

  • I am in the process of designing a new project that explores the impact of living in low-carbon housing on future housing choices. In the UK, legal commitments to meet net-zero targets have inspired the development of new housing projects with energy performance surpassing current building regulations. However, little is known about how these projects might influence the future housing choices of households occupying these low-carbon homes temporarily. A corollary of this project delves into how confidence bias underscores green building literacy and awareness among students in higher education.

Digital Literacy and Citizen Engagement

  • Expanding on my work on citizen engagement in smart cities, I am co-leading a project that focuses on understanding digital literacy in Ghana. In recent past, governments of Ghana have embarked on a digital transformation agenda including initiatives such as Mobile Money Interoperability, Digital Address Systems etc. However, a digital transformation agenda requires a digitally-literate citizen and a culture of technology acceptance. This project draws on Technology Acceptance Model and the Social Construction of Technology, to interrogate who Ghana’s digital literate citizens are and how Ghanaians are engaging with recent state-initiatives digital initiatives.

 Covid-19 and Housing

  • Building on previous research on how housing characteristics and households’ circumstances impacted adherence to Covid-19 protocols in Ghana, I am now working on deepening the understanding of the multiple uses of spaces within dwellings during the Covid-19 lockdown. During the lockdown, it was widely perceived that low-income households living in informal dwellings will struggle to engage in routine activities at home due to constraints. This seeks to illuminate how low-income households configured their limited spaces to be able to live through the Covid-19 lockdown.

Migrant homeownership and the cost of UK permanent residency UK

  • Migrants often allocate a significant portion of their savings towards securing various visa routes until they attain permanent residency in the UK. Studies indicate that migrants are more likely to be renters than homeowners, with many residing in housing considered substandard in the UK. However, the extent to which the cost of obtaining permanent residency in the UK affects migrants' ability to consistently save for a home deposit remains unexplored. Building upon my previous research on remittances and their impact on migrants' living conditions in the UK, this project aims to investigate the connection between migrants' homeownership and the cost of permanently settling in the UK. The study will focus on various migrant groups in England, including Ghanaians, Nigerians, Ivorians, and Kenyans. Additionally, a comparative analysis will be conducted at a later stage, examining this situation in contrast to some European and North American counterparts.

Future projects will include scaling up modular homes as temporary accommodation for people experiencing homelessness, as well as examining the conceptual similarities and differences between Environmental Social Governance (ESG) and Social Value in the Built Environment.


I have been a beneficiary of the following funding opportunity to support my research: 

  • April 2023: Research Development Fund (£2,000), Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge to support travelling and maintenance for research impact activities.
  • March 2023: All Councils Harmonised Rapid Response Grant (£12,490), University of Cambridge to conduct research impact activities.
  • March 2022: Conference Travel Grant (£1,500), Department of Land Economy University of Cambridge to support research dissemination.
  • October 2021: Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Grant (£5,095), University of Cambridge as seed funding for research on Covid-19 and housing.

Research impact

Impact on local planning policy-making

Impact on public education and discourse

  • Findings from the Modular homes project gained both national and local media attention with notable media organisations such as the BBC and The Times featuring the story. The journalistic article we published in the Conversation has been read by more than 10,000 people across the world.
  • Our journalistic article on why Ghana's new National Rental Assistance Scheme will not address Ghana's housing shortage has so far being read by more than 20,000 people, shared 324 times across different social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter and picked up by several online media portals including allAfrica, Big News Network, News Blur, Citi NewsRoom and Bizcommunity.
  • I have also co-produced a video documentary which impactly illuminates how housing conditions and housing chracteristics conspired to impact households' lived experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown in the Greater Kumasi Area of Ghana.

Impact on community investment

  • Following the impact the Modular homes made on residents who lived in them, The Hill Group, a renowned housebuilder in London and the South East in 2019 set up the Foundation 200, its 20th anniversary commitment to provide 200 modular homes for homeless people over the next five years (2019 - 2024).


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a member of the following academic associations:

  • Housing Studies Association (HSA)
  • African Real Estate Society (AfRES)
  • Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
  • International Academic Association on Planning and Property Rights (PLPR)
  • Regional Science Association of International-British Section (RSA-IBS)
  • Workshop on New Institutionalism in Organisational Theory


  • International Conference on the Pandemic & Urban Governance (Online), Ahmedabad University, India, 19-20 April 2023. Participant
  • Beyond Smart Cities Conference, 15 – 17 June, Malmo, Sweden (In-person). Presenter
  • Housing Studies Association, 4 – 6 April 2022, Sheffield (Hybrid). Presenter
  • 2nd Digital Geographies Conference, 28-29 October 2021 (Online). Presenter
  • Regional Science Association International-British and Irish Section (RSAI-BIS), Early Career Colloquium, 6-8 July 2021 (Online). Presenter
  • Africa Together Conference, University of Cambridge, 23 – 24 May 2021 (Online). Panel session moderator
  • Cambridge International Behaviour Science and Urban Planning Conference, Newnham College, University of Cambridge, 21 – 24 May 2019. Discussant
  • Ghana Beyond Aid: The role of Ghanaian Academics, Ghanaian Scholars’ Conference, September 6-7, 2018. Presenter
  • Regional Studies Association Conference, 13 – 14 July 2018, St Catherine’s College, University of Cambridge. Participant.
  • Annual Land and Poverty Conference, 23-25 March 2018, World Bank, Washington DC. Presenter


  • I have co-consulted for the World Bank on understanding different land-based initiatives to finance the devleopment of affordable housing. 
  • I have consulted for the Washington-DC based BlackIvy LLP on market feasbility of high-end gated communities in Accra-Ghana (November 2014).

Further details

Editorial Experiences 

Associate Editor,  IET Smart City Journal

Peer Reviewer

  • Journal of International Urban Development (November 2023 to Present)
  • Research in Globalisation (Elsevier) & Habitat International (Elsevier) (June 2023 to Present)
  • Habitat International (Elsevier) (June 2023 to Present)
  • Cities (Elsevier) (May 2023 to Present)
  • Cambridge University Press (August 2022 to Present)
  • Heliyon (Elsevier) (July 2022 to Present)
  • Ghana Journal of Sociology and Anthropology (Univesity of Ghana Press (May 2022 to Present)
  • Urban Forum (Taylor and Francis) (April 2022 to Present)
  • Construction Management and Economics (Taylor & Francis) (February 2022 to Present)
  • Urban, Planning and Transport Research (Taylor & Francis) (January 2022 to Present)
  • Land Use Policy (Elsevier) (October 2021 to Present)
  • International Journal of Housing Market and Analysis (Emerald Insights), Social Sciences (MDPI) (September 2021 to Present)
  • Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (Springer) (August 2020 to Present)
  • African Geographical Review (Taylor & Francis) (February 2020 to Present)
  • Housing Policy Debate (Taylor & Francis) (January 2020 to Present)
  • Housing Studies (Taylor & Francis) (March 2019 to Present)

2029 Research Excellence Framework

  • Unit of Assessment 13 Coordinator, School of the Built Environment