The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Polly Hudson

Thesis title: How can we measure, analyse and visualise change within the building stock and why is this of relevance to the sustainability agenda?

Primary supervisor: Professor Andrew Hudson-Smith
Secondary supervisor: Dr Duncan Smith
Starting date: October, 2015
Projected completion date: October, 2018 

Polly's EPSRC funded research looks at methods of analysing rates and spatial patterns of demolition over long time periods, in relation to specific building typologies and land uses. As energy and waste legislation forces a paradigm shift within the construction industry, from new build to building reuse, lack of vital information and knowledge of the UK's building stock is becoming increasingly apparent. How many buildings do we have? What kind and where are these located? How old are they and how long are they likely to last? Are there forms that are more persistent, or more sought after than others and if so why?

How can we encourage adaptation and lifespan extension to reduce London's energy and waste and make the city more resilient and sustainable? How can we know which buildings we should reuse? Or which we should demolish and build anew? Or which we should learn from and copy?  Owing to lack of available data on the UK building stock Polly has also designed  'Colouring London', to release her manually collected data for 20,000 buildings in London and to test the feasibility of creatinga free knowledge exchange for the building stock, and an open data collection, visualisation and dissemination platform.


Polly designed the Building of Bath Museum in 1992 (shortlisted for the European Museum of the Year 1992)  and founded The Building Exploratory charitable trust in 1996. She has worked in both the construction industry and the conservation sector, and over the past 18 years has designed many GIS related projects and exhibitions, most recently 'Almost Lost' for English heritage at Wellington Arch 2013. Since 2004 her work has focused on 4D GIS animation and energy/urban resource conservation. She was awarded a visiting fellowship at The Centre for the Historic Environment, Kellogg College, University of Oxford in 2010 and was an Honorary Research Associate at CASA from ( 2014-16). Public appointments include boards/committees for English Heritage, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, The National Lottery and the Royal Institute of British Architects (current).


"Urban Characterisation; Expanding Applications for, and New Approaches to Building Attribute Data Capture", The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice: Volume 9, 2018 - Issue 3-4: New perspectives in urban heritage – Theory, policy, and practice, Polly Hudson

"The Use of Historical Data in Rule-Based Modelling for Scenarios to Improve Resilience within the Building Stock", The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice: Volume 9, 2018 - Issue 3-4: New perspectives in urban heritage – Theory, policy, and practice, Polly Hudson, Andrew Hudson-Smith, Flora Roumpani

"Colouring London - A Crowdsourcing Platform for Geospatial Data Related to London's Building Stock", GISRUK2019, Newcastle (Winner: Best Paper GISRUK 2019), Adam Dennett, Polly Hudson, Thomas Russell, Duncan Smith