Towards Successful Suburban Town Centres
A study of the relationship between morphology, sociability, economics and accessibility

Please note that this project has finished. The current project is Adaptable Suburbs.

Research Objectives

Our working hypothesis is that successful suburban town centres are characterised by an ability to integrate different populations and generate an 'urban buzz' through sustaining a multi-faceted range of activities which can serve as a hub for community interaction and help to minimise social exclusion.

We understand 'sustainability' in terms of self-generating town-centre activity rather than as a specifically ecological ideal - though we suggest that these two different aspects may be closely related.

We will approach the complex relationship of spatiality and sociability in successful suburbs from a variety of analytical perspectives including demographic and social deprivation but also examining the historical development of a suburban town centre and its relation to the rhythms of everyday life that distinguish the identities of different places.

We aim that our research should inform and support the planning process to facilitate the sustainable development of successful suburbs, bringing improvement in the quality of life of their inhabitants.

The project will provide a robust method for the integrated analysis of the physical layout of a living environment with socio-economic information. This method can contribute to other studies in urban planning, geography, architecture, sociology and a range of other disciplines. The lessons learnt from the use of historical maps can contribute to studies in engineering, social science and the humanities.

The method for geo-referencing and integrating the maps into a coherent database will be published as part of this research.


Project contacts: email: - telephone: +44 (0)20 3108 9042 - general enquiries: contact us

EPSRC reference: EP/D06595X/1