Sue Brownill is a Reader in Urban Policy and Governance whose research and teaching interests focus on the interaction of communities with urban planning and regeneration. She is also one of the Postgraduate Research Tutors for the School with responsibilities for leading the PhD programme and co-ordinating and delivering doctoral research methods training. She currently chairs the Faculty's Doctoral Training Programme which provides advanced research methods training and support. Sue combines her academic interests with involvement with community and housing groups. She was been a board member of Oxford Citizens Housing Association and currently Chairs the Oxfordshire Community Land Trust. Before moving to Oxford she worked with community organisations in London's Docklands.
Areas of expertise
- Community involvement in planning
- Affordable housing delivery
- Community-led housing
- Waterfront regeneration
- Achieving social sustainability in major urban projects.
Teaching and supervision
- Property Development and Planning (BSc (Hons))
- Urban Design, Planning and Development (BA (Hons))
- Spatial Planning (MSc)
- Neighbourhood Regeneration and Community Planning
- The Philosophy of Research
- Qualitiative Research Methods
- Cities and Society
- People Cities and Diversity
- Public participation in planning and regeneration
- Neighbourhood regeneration and planning
- Critical perspectives on urban policy
- International waterfront regeneration with a focus on London Docklands and East London
- Urban governance in theory and practice
- Urban social theory
- Urban diversity and equalities
- Research philosophy and methodology
Recent and current topics supervised include:
- Mega Events and Urban Displacement in Brazil, South Africa and London
- Co-creation and Urban Stigmatization in Rio
- Community Renewable Energy in Egypt
- Family Travel Behaviour and Urban Mobility
- Community-Led Housing
- Squatter Settlement Upgrading Strategies in Nairobi
- Social Networks amongst Refugees in Coventry
|Oscar Natividad Puig||The role of multi-scalar networks in participatory urban interventions addressing socio-spatial inequality: an actor- network perspective||Active|
Sue's research interests focus on how planning and regeneration can both involve people and promote more socially sustainable and equitable places. She has carried out a range of research projects into public participation in planning and regeneration with a recent focus on neighbourhood planning, a new community right to draw up statutory land-use plans. Her research has also critically explored the possibilities of major regeneration schemes to address social sustainability focusing on international waterfront regeneration with a particular emphasis on London Docklands and, more recently, Olympic legacies in London and Rio.
She has also researched the delivery of affordable housing both through the planning system and other community-led mechanisms. A key theme in her research is to work with local communities as reflected in two recent projects on ways of neighbourhood knowing and using co-cretation to challenge the stigmatisation of urban communities.
Research grants and awards
Sue has worked on projects funded by a variety of soruces including Research Councils, central and local government and charities and NGOs including:
- Housing Precarity; Understanding the Structured Stories of Young People's Housing Histories in Oxford: Brookes CRF (2017-18)
- RISE; EU funded project on using co-creation to challenge the stigmatisation of low income neighbourhoods (2017-2020)
- Healthy Urban Mobility; ESRC project exploring the links between health and mobility in low to medium income communities in the UK and Brazil (2016-2019).
- Ways of Neighbourhood Knowing and Working, ESRC seminar series (2015-17)
- Rethinking Planning Obligations. Joseph Rowntree Organisation (2013-2015)
- Neighbouhood Planning: British Academy (2013-14)
- Olymic Legacies in London and Rio; Oxford Brookes CRF and Santander Research Fund (2012-2016)
- Reflections on Regeneration; British Academy funded project on the continuing regeneration of London Docklands and its national and international resonances. (2010-11)
- Olympics Legacy Literature Review – funding by the Greater London Authority (2010)
- Brazil-UK Network on Governance for Sustainable Urban Futures – funded by Centre for Cities, Oxford University (2010-2011)
- Thames Gateway Evidence Review – funded by ODPM (2006)
- Evaluation of National Planning Aid- funded by RTPI (2003-2006)
- Member of Steering group and evaluator of Cowley Road Matters public consultation exercise – funded by East Oxford Action (2004)
Sue's current and recent research projects reflect her wide interest in urban issues. They inlcude
- Precarious Housing; this project which will be led by Sue starting in 2017 will use the concept of precarity to explore the experiences of housing of a range of young people in Oxford. It will draw on digitial ethnogrpahies to reveal the structured stories of the interplay of the housing system with people's lives and their hosuing experiences.
- Co-Creation: the aim of this project which Sue will jointly lead is to build an international and interdisciplinary network to exchange knowledge and understanding about urban disadvantage in the EU and Latin America, developing a new Co-Creation method to address stigmatization.
- Healthy Urban Mobility; Sue is a member of a team on this cross-national project which aims to draw out the ways that mobility can affect health and wellbeing at an individual and collective level, particularly among low income and excluded groups. The project, by bringing a multidisciplinary perspective to these issues with a particular focus on their social dimensions, will contribute to the development of more equitable transport policies to enhance health, wellbeing and mobility among all sections of the urban population.
- Rethinking Planning Obligations; this project which finished in 2015 and was led by Sue explored the ways in which the plannign system can deliver more affordable housing. It focused in particular on the role of planning obligations (s106 agreements) and the impact of chages in the planning system on their ability to deliver affordable homes. The report put forward a number of recommendations for ways to deliver more affordable homes through the plannign system and other mechanisms
Sue's research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on afforbale housing and planning obligations wsa cited by a range of reports into ways to increase the delivery of affordable housing including the House Of Lords Economics Affiars Committee into housing, The London Housing Commission and the Lyons Review of Housing. She also presented to the Greater London Assembly and to a series of events organised for practicing planners by the RTPI.
Her work on neighbourhood planning through her own research and the ESRC seminar series has also been drawn on by the Department of Communities and Local Government and she has worked closely with neighbourhood groups in Oxfordshire and London.
Her joint article with Prof Glen O'Hara from the Dept of History at Brookes won the Planning Perspectives journal prize for the best paper published between 2014 and 2016.
- Avant-Gardes and Speculative Technology (AGAST)
- Data Update : Rethinking Planning Obligations
- Spaces of Hope: Hidden Histories of Community Planning in the UK
- Rethinking Planning Obligations: Achieving a Balance Between Housing Numbers and Affordability
Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution
- Spaces of HOPE. The Hidden History of Community Led Planning in the UK (01/01/2021 - 30/11/2023), funded by: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), funding amount received by Brookes: £329,818
Shirazi MR, Keivani R, Brownill S, Butina Watson G, 'Promoting Social Sustainability of Urban Neighbourhoods: The Case of Bethnal Green, London'
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 46 (3) (2020) pp.441-465
ISSN: 0309-1317 eISSN: 1468-2427Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Ramin M-Keivani, Erick Omena de Melo, Sue Brownill, 'Durable inequality and the scope for pro-poor development in a globalising world: Lessons from Rio de Janeiro'
City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action 24 (3/4) (2020) pp.530-551
ISSN: 1360-4813 eISSN: 1470-3629Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Brownill S, 'Planning and Participation in a Time of Pandemic'
Town and Country Planning -London- Town and Country Planning Association- 89 (6/7) (2020) pp.166-178
ISSN: 0040-9960Open Access on RADAR
Brownill S, Inch A, 'Framing People and Planning: 50 Years of Debate'
Built Environment 45 (1) (2019) pp.7-25
ISSN: 0263-7960Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Brownill S, O'Hara G, 'From planning to opportunism? Re-examining the creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation'
Planning Perspectives 30 (4) (2015) pp.537-570
ISSN: 0266-5433 eISSN: 1466-4518Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Brownill S, Cho Y, 'Time to Rebalance Housing Numbers and Affordability'
Town and Country Planning -London- Town and Country Planning Association- 84 (11) (2015) pp.503-507
Brownill S, Keivani R, Pereira G, 'Olympic Legacies and City Development Strategies in London and Rio; Beyond the Carnival Mask?'
International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development 5 (2) (2013) pp.111-131
ISSN: 1946-3138Abstract Published here
Brownill S, Parker G, 'Why bother with good works? The relevance of public participation(s) in planning in a post-collaborative era'
Planning Practice and Research 25 (3) (2010) pp.275-282
ISSN: 0269-7459Abstract Published here
Brownill S, Carpenter J, 'Governance and 'integrated' planning: the case of sustainable communities in the Thames Gateway, England'
Urban Studies 46 (2) (2009) pp.251-274
ISSN: 0042-0980 eISSN: 1360-063XAbstract Published here
Brownill S, 'The dynamics of participation: modes of governance and increasing participation in planning'
Urban Policy and Research 27 (4) (2009) pp.357-375
ISSN: 0811-1146 eISSN: 1476-7244Abstract Published here
Carpenter J, Brownill S, 'Approaches to democratic involvement: widening community engagement in the English planning system'
Planning Theory & Practice 9 (2) (2008) pp.227-248
ISSN: 1464-9357Abstract Published here
Brownill S, Carpenter J, 'Increasing participation in planning: Emergent experiences of the reformed planning system in England'
Planning Practice and Research 22 (4) (2007) pp.619-634
ISSN: 0269-7459 eISSN: 1360-0583Published here
Brownill S, Carpenter J, 'Participation and planning: Dichotomies, rationalities and strategies for power'
Town Planning Review 78 (4) (2007) pp.401-428
ISSN: 0041-0020 eISSN: 1478-341XPublished here
Brownill S, Razzaque K, Stirling T, Thomas H, 'Local Governance and the Racialisation of Urban Policy in the Uk: the Case of Urban Development Corporations'
Urban Studies 33 (8) (1996) pp.1337-1355
ISSN: 0042-0980 eISSN: 1360-063XAbstract Published here
Thomas H, Stirling T, Brownill S, Razzaque K, 'Locality, Urban Governance and Contested Meanings of Place'
Area 28 (2) (1996) pp.186-198
ISSN: 0004-0894 eISSN: 1475-4762Published here
BROWNILL S, HALFORD S, 'Understanding Womens Involvement in Local-politics - How Useful Is a Formal Informal Dichotomy'
Political Geography Quarterly 9 (1990) pp.396-414
Brownill S, 'The people's plan for the Royal Docks: Some contradictions in popular planning'
Planning Practice and Research 2 (4) (1988) pp.15-21
ISSN: 0269-7459Published here
Memberships of professional bodies
- Member of the Town and Country Planning Association.
- Presented evidence to the Public Administration Committee of the House of Commons on public consultation and was a part of a DCLG round table group on neighbourhood planning.
- Member of the judging panel for the Guangzhou Urban Sustainability Awards in 2015.
More information about Sue Brownill research:
Before working at Oxford Brookes University, Sue was a research fellow oat the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, UCL, London. She also worked for the Docklands Forum, a community organisation involved in the regernation of London's Docklands. Sue combines her academic interests with involvement with community and housing groups. She was been a board member of Oxford Citizens Housing Association and currently Chairs the Oxfordshire Community Land Trust.