I am co-leader of the Digital Local Democracy theme within the Digital Economy Research Centre at Open Lab and Professor of Urban Planning in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. My research focuses on the design of institutions for more participatory and collaborative forms of urban governance. Historically my research here has focused on the practices of local government, but increasingly it engages directly with communities, notably through the process of neighbourhood planning.
In this I am interested in evaluating how digital methods can be deployed, in isolation and in combination with traditional participation technologies, to give voice to those often not heard within the planning system and debates about how places are governed. As part of this endeavour I am concerned with: the potential for, and ways in which, conflict may emerge and be managed; how the information gained from processes is ignored or turned into knowledge by planners and others to justify planning action; and the demands of such processes on citizens as political subjects.