The Bartlett School of Planning


Sustainable Transport, Infrastructure & Cities Research Group

Our research centres on understanding how to deliver sustainable transformations within urban systems.

Shared Aims

  • To develop an inter-disciplinary, complex approach to understanding, framing, delivering and monitoring sustainable transformations in urban systems;
  • To develop methods, policies and tools which can assist in the transformation process;
  • To critically evaluate and advance the theories and methods in the field.

Core Focus

The research group focuses on delivering sustainable transformations within urban systems exploring the role of institutions, policy instruments, spatial planning, urban design and infrastructures in shaping and governing these processes.  We seek to create resource efficient, low carbon, resilient, regenerative, socially-just, smart, economically sustainable, nature-inspired urban systems. We investigate how infrastructural changes transform economies, lifestyles and social practices drawing upon international examples, and investigating the translation of best practice. Our work spans these key themes:

  • Cities –  sustainable, circular, smart, low carbon, resilient and shrinking cities
  • Resources – energy, land, water, materials
  • Infrastructure and Transport – transport, energy, social (schools, hospitals, community housing e.t.c), green, water, telecommunications, ports, major infrastructure projects
  • Measurement – indicators, appraisal & evaluation methodologies, monitoring
  • Governance – transformation, transitions, translation, scenarios


Catalina Turcu | Dan Durrant | Fangzhu ZhangHarry Dimitriou | Iqbal Hamiduddin | Joanna Williams | John Ward | Robin Hickman | Tse-Hui Teh |Yvonne Rydin


PhD Researchers

Alejandro Rivero Villar | Beatriz Mella Lira | Calvin King Lam Chung | Dongho Han | Gualtiero Bonvino | Hyunji Cho | Jorge Martin Sainz De Los Terreros | Ju Eun Kim | Lisa Juangbhanich | Mengqiu (Matthew) Cao | Ruth Sepulveda Marquez | Vafa Dianati


Showcase Recent Publications

Yvonne Rydin, Lucy Natarajan, Maria Lee and Simon J Lock (2018)
Black-boxing the evidence: planning regulation and major renewable energy infrastructure projects in England and Wales. 
Planning Theory and Practice. (online first DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2018.1456080)

How does a regulatory regime cope with the demands of being evidence based? Given the contestation and uncertainties associated with knowledge claims, what are the processes at work? This paper addresses these questions in the context of a relatively new planning regime concerned with consenting major infrastructure projects, focussing on renewable energy.  The paper adopts a Science and Technology Studies perspective, showing how black-boxing plays a key role in establishing knowledge-claims that can support regulatory decision-making. However, it also shows how black boxes do not stay closed and, hence, there is a need for means of closing down debate.

E. John Ward, Harry T. Dimitriou, and Phil Wright and Marco Dean. (2016)
Application of Policy-Led Multi-Criteria Analysis to the Appraisal of the Northern Line Extension in London.
Research in Transportation Economics, 58, 46-80.

Drawing from an extensive array of public domain literature the paper sets out both the policy and planning contexts for the project plus the business case that led to a decision by UK Treasury to guarantee a £1 billion loan to Transport for London for the construction of the Northern Line's extension. It looks at the scale and nature of the megaproject's features, particularly its line-haul and related real estate developments, especially those in the assigned development opportunity area. It presents the policy, planning, legislative and regulative dimensions of the project likely to define its revenue generation prospects and environmental and social impacts, with special attention paid to those project outcomes affecting key stakeholders over time and space.  It seeks to explain the mechanics of how to employ a policy-led multi-criteria framework together with its associated processes within which stakeholder policies and agendas can be mapped and common/divergent interests identified. 

Michaela Benson and Iqbal Hamiduddin (ed.s) (2018)
Self-Build Homes: Social Discourse, Experiences and Directions
UCL Press, London.

Self-Build Homes connects the burgeoning interdisciplinary research on self-build with commentary from leading international figures in the self-build and wider housing sector. Through their focus on community, dwelling, home and identity, the chapters explore the various meanings of self-build housing, encouraging new directions for discussions about self-building and calling for the recognition of the social dimensions of this process, from consideration of the structures, policies and practices that shape it, through to the lived experience of individuals and households.