Brookes wins Marie Curie Fellowship Grant for Compact Neighbourhood and Social Sustainability Research

26 February 2015

Oxford Brookes University has been awarded a European Union Framework 7 Marie Curie Fellowship (worth £238k), to host Dr M.Reza Shirazi to undertake a project researching the contribution of compact neighbourhoods to social sustainability in London and Berlin.

This project is funded by the EU

Dr Reza Shirazi is the main researcher. He has joined Oxford Brookes University from TU Berlin. He is an architect and urban planner with more than 13 years experience in teaching and interdisciplinary research in neighbourhood development, citizen participation, phenomenology of the built environment, socio-cultural sustainability, and architectural and urban transformation in the MENA cities.

The work will be supervised by Prof. Ramin Keivani, the Scientist in Charge of the project, in collaboration with Prof. Georgia Butina Watson and Dr. Sue Brownill. Prof. Ramin Keivani is Director of the Real Estate and Land Policy Group within the Department of Real Estate and Construction at Oxford Brookes University. Prof. Georgia Butina Watson is the Director of the Urban Design Group and Dr. Sue Brownill is a member of the Spatial Planning Group within the Department of Planning. These research groups also form part of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), which is one of the UK's largest research institutes dedicated to sustainable development research in built and natural environments.

The research project, entitled ‘Contribution of Compact Neighbourhoods to the Social Sustainability‘, will investigate how compact urban form can promote the social sustainability of intermediate neighbourhood areas. It will focus on the major European cities which face socio-cultural challenges, such as social segregation and cultural disintegration, and in this case the project will be studying London and Berlin. Researchers will study three key concepts throughout the duration of the project, neighbourhood development, compact urban form, and social sustainability; aiming to shed light on their interconnectivity.

The project will enable researchers to provide the studied neighbourhoods with an Urban Form Enhancement Index. This will include recommendations and modifications which will further the capacity of the given neighbourhood to serve as an effective structural unit and socially sustainable community.

More information about the Department of Real Estate and Construction and Department of Planning is available here. Click here for more information about the Real Estate and Land Policy Group, Urban Design Group and the Spatial Planning Group