Planning for sustainability

Sustainable behaviours within the community - members of the public enjoying a green space within a city

Our research

Sustainable planning must balance the needs of communities, government and private companies, while delivering against a range of social, economic and environmental objectives. Successful planning also requires an understanding of the relationships between communities, buildings, cities and climate. This should also take into account the impact of urban heat islands, airflow, biodiversity and urban agriculture.

The University of Reading's School of Real Estate and Planning (link) is home to a broad range of expertise in planning and development, as well as the related implications for policy and regulation. Current research themes include the design of environmentally friendly and inclusive public spaces within urban areas and the importance of neighbourhood planning and community-based initiatives. There is a strong focus on climate change and how urban areas can adapt to and mitigate the effects. Research also examines issues of urban governance, community wellbeing, and sustainable urban management. The research that takes place within the School has a legacy of influencing policy.

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Future direction

Planning research at the University will maintain its broad, holistic approach in future, strengthening the existing cross-disciplinary collaborative relationships and continuing to produce research that has real world applications and supports the sustainable built environment agenda.

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Professor Tim Dixon

Chair of Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment


Mr Joe Doak

Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning and Development, REP


Dr Graeme Larsen

Lecturer and Director of Post Graduate Research Studies, School of Construction Management and Engineering


Dr Zhiwen (Vincent) Luo

Lecturer in Sustainable Technologies, School of Construction Management and Engineering


Dr Richard J Nunes

Lecturer in Real Estate and Planning, REP


Professor Kathy (Kathryn) Pain

Professor of Real Estate Development, REP


Professor Gavin Parker

Professor of Planning Studies, REP


Dr Emma Street

Lecturer, Real Estate and Planning


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Future involvement

Dr. Janet Barlow

Reader in Urban Meteorology, Meteorology and Director of TSBE



Professor Stephen Belcher

Professor in Meteorology and Joint Met Office Chair in Weather Systems, Meteorology


Dr Wendy Matthews

Lecturer in Archaeology, School of Human and Environmental Sciences


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