The Urban Studies group investigates people-place relationships at different spatial scales, from neighbourhoods to cities and regions. The research is focused on a better understanding of how neighbourhoods, cities and regions develop, and how different spatial configurations and structures emerge (within and between cities), and how these configurations affect socio-economic outcomes for people across spatial scales. The multi-level interaction between people and places is central. They investigate how the urban context affects individuals and their lives, and how people influence the socio-spatial structures around them. A better understanding of these people-place interactions is crucial for the design and planning of cities and regions, and for the design of spatial policies that contribute to the quality of places.
The group contributes to important challenges related to contemporary urbanisation. These include increasingly complex connections and networks of cities and regions, both nationally and internationally; growing levels of inequality and the spatial footprint of inequality; and changing structures of urban governance and citizen engagement in urban policy. The research in Urban Studies is multi-disciplinary and empirical in nature, using both qualitative and quantitative research methods, with a strong emphasis on the use of very large longitudinal register data sets and advanced statistical techniques. Increasingly, computational social science methods are used for a theory driven analysis of novel digital data resources (‘big data’).