Transforming the
Engineering of
Cities for Global
and Societal

Research Themes

Research Team

Joanne Leach Joanne Leach
Researcher and Project Manager University of Birmingham
Chris Rogers Chris Rogers
Principal Investigator University of Birmingham
Rachel Cooper Rachel Cooper
Co-investigator Lancaster University
AbuBakr	 Bahaj AbuBakr Bahaj
Co-investigator University of Southampton
Nick Tyler Nick Tyler
Co-investigator UCL
Brian Collins Brian Collins
Co-investigator UCL

Our ambition

To create an holistic, integrated, truly multi-disciplinary city analysis methodology, which uniquely integrates wellbeing indicators, is founded on an evidence base of trials of radical interventions in cities, and delivers the realistic and radical engineering solutions necessary to achieve our vision

Our vision

To transform the engineering of cities to deliver global and societal wellbeing within the context of low carbon living and resource security through developing realistic and radical engineering that demonstrates the concept of an alternative future.

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Research Updates

Ecological connectivity research in urban areas

The successful movement of individuals is fundamental to life. Facilitating these movements by promoting ecological connectivity has become a central theme in ecology and conservation. Urban areas contain more than half of the world's human population, and their potential to support biodiversity and to connect their citizens to nature is...

The ecological impact of city lighting scenarios: exploring gap crossing thresholds for urban bats

As the global population urbanizes, dramatic changes are expected in city lighting and the urban form, which may threaten the functioning of urban ecosystems and the services they deliver. However, little is known about the ecological impact of lighting in different urban contexts. Movement is an important ecological process that...

Delivering a Multi-Functional and Resilient Urban Forest

Tree planting is widely advocated and applied in urban areas, with large-scale projects underway in cities globally. Numerous potential benefits are used to justify these planting campaigns. However, reports of poor tree survival raise questions about the ability of such projects to deliver on their promises over the long-term. Each...

Mapping Lightscapes: Spatial Patterning of Artificial Lighting in an Urban Landscape

Artificial lighting is strongly associated with urbanisation and is increasing in its extent, brightness and spectral range. Changes in urban lighting have both positive and negative effects on city performance, yet little is known about how its character and magnitude vary across the urban landscape. A major barrier to related...

Habitat gaps and research gaps

Habitat gaps and research gaps

– shedding light on ecosystem services is cities.

When thinking about urban ecosystem services, the city’s trees are high on the list of habitats that contribute directly to human wellbeing.  They are the Swiss Army Knife of urban habitats – a multi-functional feature that needs to be understood, retained and...

The latest LC Newsletter is now available!

LC News is full of interesting articles, reports, books, events and information that help us to realise liveable cities.

If you have anything of interest that you feel should be included in the newsletter, please forward it to Joanne Leach ( or Audrey Nganwa (    Please email Audrey if you would like...

Seeking applicants for Senior Research Associate position on the Liveable Cities project

Interested in making cities more liveable? Have a background in urban design, architecture or design management? This job might be for you!

ImaginationLancaster seeks to appoint a Senior Research Associate to work on an EPSRC funded Liveable Cities project.

Our latest LC Newsletter is now available!

LC News is full of interesting articles, reports, books, events and information that help us to realise liveable cities.

If you have anything of interest that you feel should be included in the newsletter, please forward it to Joanne Leach ( or Claire Coulton (    Please email Claire if you would...

Do sustainability measures constrain creativity in urban design?

Do sustainability measures constrain creativity in urban design?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced in 2012, has as a key tenet a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Less noted is an aim, embodied in the Ministerial introduction, that planning should be a 'creative process'. The Framework requires that good design should contribute positively to making places...

PhD funding opportunity

A three year, fully-funded, PhD studentship on a cross disciplinary project - “Moving health and sustainability upstream into strategic urban development decision-making”


Past Events

Arup - 8 Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 4BJ

This session, focused on Safer, Smarter and Sustainable Cities, is the latest in the 'City Leadership Initiative'...

Date and timings: 4th June 2015 10.00am registration, 10.30am event start, 3.15pm event close   Birmingham Venue: Birmingham Botanical Gardens (NOT Winterbourne Botanic Garden) Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3TR   Preparatory documents available from...

Friends Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1TX

As part of the Liveable Cities project, the Lancaster University team are hosting a workshop on...

Friends Meeting House, Lancaster

Over 30 participants from Lancaster and Birmingham attended our workshop, looking at sharing in the city. We had our diverse group...


6th Bi-annual Summit

The event report, presentations, delegate list and programme are available from this website in the Research Updates section, or upon request to Joanne Leach at...