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2014 (Education and Lifelong Learning Awards)

Winners of the 2014 Education and Lifelong Learning Awards

Excellence in spatial planning research: academics

  • Professor Chris Webster, University of Hong Kong and Dr Chinmoy Sarkar, Cardiff University: Development of the UK Biobank Urban Morphometric Platform – A nationwide resource for evidence-based healthy city planning and interventions

 The UK Biobank Urban Morphometric Platform is a high resolution database of more than 750 spatial urban morphological metrics for the 500,000 Britons in the Biobank Prospective cohort.  The platform is being developed as a nationwide resource for evidence-based healthy city planning and other public health interventions.

The judges felt that this was an important study because it provides a robust evidence base for future initiatives that try to support built environment interventions that could have positive public health outcomes. This is a key ambition of planning, yet the basis for decision making is often weak. This study makes a major contribution to the field.

Chinmoy Sarkar And Chris Webster

Pictured: Trudi Elliott with Professor Chris Webster and Dr Chinmoy Sarkar

More information  on the research can be found:

UK Biobank Built Environment Morphometrics for Wales:

UK Biobank Built Environment Morphometrics for UK:


Excellence in spatial planning research: student

  • Jennifer Angus, University of the West of England: More than a stopgap solution? Examining attitudes and approaches toward temporary use practice at the local municipal level

This dissertation sought to investigate whether temporary or interim uses have been embraced by local municipalities as a legitimate approach within the planning/urban development 'toolkit'. Though largely viewed as a 'stopgap solution,' it highlighted both examples of innovation and potential for the practice to be used to greater effect.

The judges said it was an original and innovative submission on a subject which is an upcoming policy issue. They said the role of planning in the process is clearly drawn out with some genuinely new knowledge.

Jennifer Angus.jpg

 Pictured: Trudi Elliott with Jennifer Angus


Winners of the 2013 Education and Lifelong Learning Awards

Excellence in spatial planning research: academics

  • Colin Jones; Heriot-Watt University with Mike Coombes; Newcastle University: Tenure specific Housing Market Areas

This research assesses the importance of tenure-specific HMAs for housing planing within the current policy frameworks aimed at meeting housing needs. The judges felt that the submission demonstrated a clarity of argument along with a clear presentation of results. It analysed the implications for housing and planning, discussing the different Housing Market Areas for each tenure. This was judged to be an excellent contribution to the technical underpinning of debates over housing delivery.

Colin Jones

Pictured:  Colin Jones and Gavin Parker, Director of Professional Standards, RTPI

Excellence in spatial planning research: student (Joint Winners)

  • Lora Zhu; The University of Sheffield: The Role of Non-Government Organisations in Heritage Protection in China; a case study in Beijing

This research at the role of NGOs in heritage protection in China. The submission from Zhu Huan, a Masters student from Sheffield University was considered an outstanding piece of work. This masters dissertation exhibited a good research methodology, including qualitative data analysis. It was presented alongside clear conclusions in an area of considerable international interest. The judges appreciated the cultural challenges presented by the work in terms of examining approach taken towards heritage protection in China.

  • Janine Loubser; The University of Cape Town: The Fringe and Beyond: Cape Town as a Creative City for All

This research examines the spatial implications of the promotion of the creative industry sector in Cape Town. The judges felt that the MA dissertation was well-presented demonstrating good urban design skills, fused with strong social science awareness. The structure was clear and comprehensive, used a sound methodology and presented a strong critical assessment. The relevance to practice is clear and pertinent to today's special planning issues in Cape Town.