Land, Design and Development (LDD)

Group Leader: Dr M. Reza Shirazi


About us

The Land, Design and Development (LDD) group brings together about 20 research-active academics working on different aspects of real estate, land policy, urban design, urban development and pedagogy. LDD collaborates with leading institutions worldwide, having secured research funds from various national and global funders such as RICS, ESRC, FP7, Horizon 2020, AHURR and Hineleban Foundation. It also provides consultancy for UK government and agencies, local government, commercial organisations, community and voluntary sectors and a number of international bodies. 

LDD members undertake a wide range of innovative and interdisciplinary research in areas of economic globalization; property development; housing policy; public space; place identity; urban design and heritage; urban morphology; townscape and city centre management; urban regeneration and sustainability; infrastructure delivery; healthy cities and healthy ageing; and pedagogical methods and digital technologies.

City building painted with mural

Research impact

Reclaim Your Street demonstration

In line with the School of the Built Environment impact policy that seeks real-world influence, LDD research group engages with a variety of stakeholders including public, private and third sectors. Impacts are situated in following interlinked areas:

Community: Our research engages with community members, understands them as knowledge-holders, and establishes mutual collaborations to develop solutions for community problems and challenges.

Policy: Our research critically evaluates policy processes and regulations in order to make them more participatory, inclusive and effective.

Institutional: Our research critically examines institutional bodies and governing systems and proposes guidelines and recommendations to achieve institutional reforms. 

Technological: Our research benefits from technological advances and seeks to produce innovative tools to come up with effective solutions.

Pedagogic: Our team develops and applies innovative teaching methods to promote student engagement and enhance student experience.


M. Reza Shirazi

Dr M. Reza Shirazi

Reader in Sustainable Urban Development

View profile



Name Role Email
Mrs Rebecca Gee Senior Lecturer in Real Estate and Subject Coordinator
Dr Avar Almukhtar Senior Lecturer at the School of the Built Environment
Dr Mark Austin Postgraduate Programmes Lead / Oxford Brookes Teaching Fellow
Professor Georgia Butina Watson Professor in Urban Design
Dr Junjian (Albert) Cao Senior Lecturer (Valuation) In Post Graduate Programmes
Dr Youngha Cho Reader
Mr Paul Jenkins Senior Lecturer in Property Management
Professor Mike Jenks Emeritus Professor in Urban Sustainability; Founder Director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD)
Professor Ramin Keivani Head of School of the Built Environment
Mr Karl Kropf Senior Lecturer
Dr Regina Mapua Lim Subject Coordinator for Urban Design / Senior Lecturer in Urban Design and Planning
Dr Maryam Mani Research Fellow in Healthy Living and Working Environments
Dr Laura Novo De Azevedo Principal Lecturer Student Experience, Senior Lecturer in Planning and Urban Design, Subject Coordinator BA in Urban Design, Planning and Development, BA in City and Regional Planning and MPlan
Dr Alan Reeve Reader in Planning and Urban Design
Dr Sally Sims Senior Lecturer in Real Estate
Dr Emma Skippings Senior Lecturer in Planning


Active projects

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

Just Neighbourhoods: Socio-Spatial Justice in Urban Neighbourhoods

The research explores to what extent redevelopment projects at the neighbourhood scale contribute to achieving socially just and fair environments, and who benefits from them.
Dr M. Reza Shirazi European Commission From: January 2018
Until: January 2021

Improving Outcomes for Apartment Residents and Neighbourhoods

The project provides new information about the characteristics of lower-income apartment residents and the places where they live; identifies important issues with how well apartment developments provide for the wellbeing, community and affordability needs of lower-income apartment residents; and considers how these issues can most effectively be addressed in high-density developments at both the building and precinct scale.
AHURI From: January 2019

Community Engagement In Planning And Design: 7 Post-Conflict Settlements In Mindanao, Philippines

This project is an international collaboration working on a live project bringing together local and global experts to support local communities in the co-creation process in the planning, design and delivery of 7 post-conflict setttements. The methodology of co-creation as a pathway to peace and its role in shifting the role of a community at war to a sustainable and inclusive neighbourhood would be the research contribution.
Dr Avar Almukhtar, Dr Regina Mapua Lim Hineleban From: January 2019

Enhancing Housing Affordability and Social Care in Japan and UK

The project brings together academics from universities in both the UK and Japan whose research interests lie in (in)affordability of housing for young people and vulnerable populations, and the national policies put in place by both countries to address this; and the relationship between housing policy and social care in ageing nations.
Dr Youngha Cho, Professor Ramin Keivani, Dr Mel Nowicki ESRC From: January 2019
Until: June 2021

Promises and Limits of Alternative Urbanism in Neoliberal Era

This aim of this project is to establish an interdisciplinary, cross-university and multinational research network of scholars who work on Alternative Urbanism, discuss the topic in a symposium at Brookes and, finally, develop a major research proposal that will be submitted to leading national and international funding bodies.
Dr M. Reza Shirazi Brookes Research Excellence Award

Impact of a ‘home office’ environment on productivity and work wellbeing in an ageing workforce

Covid-19 has resulted in many more employees working from home. This may become the 'new normal' with more workers and organisations preferring this approach. The aim of the research is to investigate to what extent the indoor home-office environment impacts an ageing workforce's productivity and work associated wellbeing in comparison to a younger workforce across two seasons (summer and winter).
Dr Youngha Cho Brookes Research Excellence Award From: November 2020
Until: June 2022

Street Networks: A Comparative Study of Models, Representations and Measures

The project is an ongoing international collaborative research effort focusing on the representation, measurement and modelling of street networks as applied in urban design. A core objective is the comparative assessment of the wide range of models and measures used in design in order to establish their relative merits, use cases and potential complementarity.
Mr Karl Kropf From: September 2017

Establishing a Virtual Design Studio in Teaching and Research for International Collaborations

A Virtual Design Studio is being tested for the postgraduate course Development in Practice, which brings together local experts and students working on a live project: Post-conflict development in Mindanao, Philippines. The international collaboration allows Oxford Brookes students to work on projects in dangerous sites by having access to local knowledge and information including local culture experts and resources such as geo-located photographs to provide a sensory experience of place and for triangulating map data.
Dr Avar Almukhtar, Dr Mark Austin, Dr Regina Mapua Lim Brookes Research Excellence Award From: January 2021
Until: May 2021

Integration of fast track home modification services in health and social care services

Dr Jo Brett, Dr Juliet Carpenter, Dr Youngha Cho Brookes Research Excellence Award From: January 2021

Exploring lessons from COVID for the role of the voluntary sector in Integrated Care Systems

Dr Juliet Carpenter, Dr Youngha Cho Brookes Research Excellence Award From: January 2021

Completed projects

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

Housing Labour Network: Southern African Region

Considering the rapid urbanisation of the Southern African countries and the low incomes and economic developmental status of the region, the dynamics between housing and employment appear to be different in the countries from those of developed economies. The network has brought together key academics and other stakeholders in the region to commence a debate on an under-researched area that has important implication on housing and livelihoods of residents particularly in the context of Southern Africa.
Dr Youngha Cho, Professor Ramin Keivani Brookes Research Excellence Award From: January 2017
Until: December 2018

BRAZIL-UK Healthy Urban Mobility (HUM)

This project was a 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 From: November 2016
Until: June 2019

Rethinking Planning Obligations: Achieving a Balance Between Housing Numbers and Affordability

Professor Sue Brownill JRF From: January 2013
Until: December 2014

Globalisation, climate change and urban governance: balancing the scales for both efficient and pro-

Professor Ramin Keivani

The role of property markets in supporting economic and social development in China

The project is a RICS funded research on China's property market development and its impact on socio-economic development, which started in 2004 and completed in 2007. It was a major research on China's rapidly developing property market that has transformed China's urbanisation both physically and socially.
Dr Junjian (Albert) Cao, Professor Ramin Keivani RICS From: January 2004
Until: December 2007

Data Update : Rethinking Planning Obligations

Professor Sue Brownill, Dr Youngha Cho JRF From: September 2016
Until: November 2018

Research area

Real Estate: Property-led Growth, Economic Globalisation, Property Development, Market Regulation

Housing: 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

Urban Design: Public Space, Place Identity, Urban Heritage, Densification, Diversity and Culture, Urban Morphology, Townscape and City Centre Management, Urban Regeneration, Governance of Design, Participatory Urban Design, Design of Healthy Places

Urban Sustainable Development: Social Sustainability, Sustainable Regeneration, Urban Sustainability Indicators

Urban Development: Neighbourhood Design and Development, Community Development, Infrastructure Delivery, Neighbourhood Change

Healthy Cities/Healthy Ageing: Aging and Work Space, Outdoor Activities, Health Equity

Urban Justice: Environmental Justice, Housing, Equity, Inclusive Neighbourhoods, Just Mobility

Pedagogy: Pedagogical Methods and Digital Technologies, Co-curricular Activities and Student Experience

International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development

The International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes original research and review papers. It aims to provide a forum for cutting-edge research and rigorous debate for an in-depth and holistic understanding of the complex inter-related environmental, social, economic, political, spatial, institutional and physical challenges facing urban areas. Ramin Keivani serves as the managing editor of the journal. 

ViewCue: Visual intelligence for property, real estate, planning and development

ViewCue is a cloud application, developed by Dr Jon Cooper in collaboration with Holistic City Ltd. It provides visual intelligence that helps increase the accuracy of property valuation, maximises place value and enhances the visual quality of development. 

ViewCue is a response to a changing industry that increasingly demands evidence in property or location development at every stage of the process.