I have completed research projects on sustainable cities and the interactions among technology, people, and the environment. Specifically, I study how the built environment is implicated in low-carbon, ecological, and liveability agendas. This work cuts across conventional categories of economics, politics, design, behaviour, and so on to recognise sustainable urban development as a complex process of negotiation among a range of actors and their physical surroundings.

Triangulum: Three Points of Light (2015 to 2020) – A five-year project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme to study the development of low-carbon smart districts in Manchester, Eindhoven, and Stavanger. The project will provide insights on the design, construction, management, and evaluation of buildings, energy infrastructure, and transportation networks in each city. Collaborators at the University of Manchester include James Evans, Chris MartinIan Cotton, and Krassimira Paskaleva.

RESIN – Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures (2015 to 2018) – A 42-month project funded by the European Commission;s Horizon 2020 Programme to o provide standardised methodologies for vulnerability assessments, performance evaluations of adaptation measures, and for decision support tools supporting the development of robust adaptation strategies tailored to the city. Collaborators at the University of Manchester include Jeremy Carter, Angela Connelly, Stephen Hincks, and John Handley.

Citizen Green: Co-Creating Green and Blue Urban Environments in Manchester (2015) – A three-month pilot project to test innovative citizen social science methods and empower Manchester communities to take action on climate change through greening the urban environment in the Northern Quarter. I am working with Gabriele Schliwa and Alexandra Albert at the University of Manchester alongside Manchester City Council, CityCo, Manchester Climate Change Agency, and the Manchester Garden City Initiative.

University Living Lab for Sustainability (2013 to present) – A project funded by the University of Manchester Research Institute to transform the University of Manchester into a platform for research and teaching. This work involves close collaboration with the University’s Directorate of Estates and Facilities. Collaborators include James Evans, Ross Jones, and Lucy Millard.

Oxford Road as Living Laboratory (2012 to 2015) – A collaboration with Corridor Manchester to transform Oxford Road in Manchester into a venue for research and teaching. This work was funded by cities@manchester through a grant from the University of Manchester’s Higher Education Innovation Fund.

CHARISMA – Community Approaches to Retrofit in Greater Manchester (2014 to 2015) – A pilot project to understand how energy savings and fuel poverty are being addressed through collaborative, community-based programmes, using Greater Manchester as a case study. This project is funded by University of Manchester’s Faculty of Humanities Strategic Investment Research Fund and includes Saska Petrova and Jenni Cauvain.

Zero Carbon Habitation (2011 to 2013) – With colleagues from the University of Manchester and Lancaster University, we studied the rollout of zero carbon housing in the UK. This project was funded by the ESRC, The Scottish Government and DEFRA.

Conditioning Demand: Older People, Diversity and Thermal Experience (2011 to 2013) – A project funded by the EPSRC and EDF on how older people manage comfort in their homes and how this changes with the introduction of low-carbon heating technologies. The project team included researchers from Lancaster University, Cardiff University, University of Exeter, and EDF.


Doctoral Students

Completed students

Ahlam Sharif, Architecture, University of Manchester, 2016, ‘Sustainable Architectural Design between Inscription and De-scription: The Case of Masdar City’

Kelly Watson, Geography, University of Manchester, 2016, ‘Learning Loops in Sustainable Design: Applying Social Return On Investment (SROI) to Buildings’

Mahmoud Elwerfalli, Architecture, University of Manchester, 2017, ‘Contemporary Courtyard Housing in Libya: New Directions in Sustainable Housing Development’

Current Students

Serdjan Yalchiner, Architecture, University of Manchester, ‘Transferability of Sustainable Building Codes’

Erica Eneqvist, Urban Planning and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, ‘Innovation in Local Authorities: New Modes of Governing the City’

Naomi Lipke, Urban Planning and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, ‘Situating Smart: The Role of Space and Place in Urban Innovation’

Todor Stojanovski, Urban Planning and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, ‘Urban Form and Mobility: Analysing and Certifying Multimodal Travel’

Other Supervision

At the University of Manchester, I supervised the following PhD students before moving to KTH:

Gabriele Schliwa, Geography, ‘Harnessing the Digital Economy to Deliver Sustainable Transport Transitions’, second supervisor

Angela Neilson, Planning and Environmental Management, ‘Culture and the Global City: Exploring the Influence of Cultural Projects on Non-Elite Actors within Member States of the European Union’, second supervisor

Bing Sun, Planning and Environmental Management, ‘Transferability of European Eco-City Concepts to Chinese Sino-Foreign Eco-Cities’, second supervisor

Barry Johnston, Power Networks, ‘The Dynamics and Future-Proofing of Heat Network Governance in the Context of Decarbonisation and Infrastructure Innovation’, first supervisor

Joseph Chambers, Power Networks, ‘Urban Design and Energy Innovation: Exploring the Role of Smart Districts as Areas of Niche Protection for Energy Focussed Urban Design’, second supervisor

Cara Mulholland, Management of Projects, ‘Societal Value of Nuclear Decommissioning and Remediation’, third supervisor