Professor Marion Roberts

Professor of Urban Design

35 Marylebone Road London NW1 5LS
By appointment

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Planning and Transport | Department

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Prior to my first appointment  at the University of Westminster, now over twenty five years ago, I was educated (UCL) and worked as an architect, before going on to do a PhD at Cardiff University.  I became a  Professor, and have taken various administrative roles, including two years as acting Head of Department and a number of years as Faculty Coordinator for PhDs. My research interests have been in the field of urban design with a particular emphasis on the relationships between social issues and their physical context. As a consequence my research up till a decade ago incorporated a diverse range of topics, from public art to mixed-income housing to mixed-use streets. I have received research funding from institutions such as the Leverhulme Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, from central and local government and from not-for-profit organisations.

I have taught urban design and planning for over twenty years. I have been course leader for the BA Town Planning, the BA Urban Design, the Postgraduate Certificate in Street Design and Practice and the MA Urban Design. The opportunity to teach in central London has been a real privilege as London itself provides an infinitely rich and changing subject of study. It also offers a diverse and talented pool of students and practitioners to relate to. My current teaching responsibilities are as follows: 

  • Dissertation tutoring MA Urban Design and MA International Planning and Sustainable Development
  • Module Leader for MA Urban Design modules: Urbanism and Design: Form, Context and Philosophies & Public Realm: Significance, Design and Experience.
  • Tutoring on the MA Urban and Regional Planning: Making and Managing Projects and teaching Research Methods

Current Interests 

The relationship between the evening and night-time economy and the city; gender plus issues in urban planning and design.  I am writing journal articles and book chapters on these topics, while finishing projects and making bids for further grants and other funding.

Recent op-ed: http://theconversation.com/what-a-night-czar-can-do-to-help-nightlife-survive-67253

Current Projects 

Research consultancy for  London's Night Time Commission (with colleagues Prof Guy Osborn, Dr Adam Eldridge, Dr Simon Flacks, Jonathan Robinson and external consultants TBR Ltd.). 

Contribution to UNDP Cities Alliance funded study of the informal economy in Uganda's secondary cities (PI Tony Lloyd-Jones)

Grants 

I was co-leader for WG3 (Cities, Transport, Energy and Climate Change) in the European Commission funded COST network, Gender STE TA1021. (http://www.cost.eu/about_cost/governance/genderste). The working group brought together researchers and policy makers from almost all of the EU member states, near neighbours of Turkey, Israel and Egypt and from New Zealand, Canada and the USA. 

My most recent research grant was from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for an investigation into the place based factors implicated in youth drinking cultures. Tim Townshend from Newcastle University was co-Investigator for the project. Dr Adam Eldridge and Dr Ilaria Pappaleporeat the University of Westminster also contributed. http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/local-variations-youth-drinking-cultures

Doctoral Researchers

Currently I am supervising one full-time and two part-time students. 

Completions since 2009 

  • Ram Sateesh Pasupuleti 
  • Atepheh Amid
  • Adel Ali Mohamed
  • Greg Cowan
  • Sanaz Shobeiri

External Activities

I am a member of the Urban Design Group, the Academy of Urbanism and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Urban Design.

I am also an assessor for the Australian Research Council and regularly review journal articles, book proposals and research proposals.

2017

Urban design, central London and the ‘crisis’ 2007-2013: business as usual? (2017)
Roberts, M. 2017. Urban design, central London and the ‘crisis’ 2007-2013: business as usual? Journal of Urban Design. 22 (2), pp. 150-166.

2016

Viewpoint: Urban Design Pedagogy (2016)
Roberts, M. 2016. Viewpoint: Urban Design Pedagogy. Journal of Urban Design. 21 (5), pp. 567-569.
The Crisis in the UK's High Streets: can the evening and night-time economy help? (2016)
Roberts, M. 2016. The Crisis in the UK's High Streets: can the evening and night-time economy help? Articulo: Journal of Urban Research. 11.

2013

Young adults and the decline of the urban English pub: issues for planning (2013)
Roberts, M. and Townshend, T.G. 2013. Young adults and the decline of the urban English pub: issues for planning. Planning Theory & Practice. 14 (4), pp. 455-469.
‘A big night out’: young people’s drinking, social practice and spatial experience in the ‘liminoid’ zones of English night-time cities (2013)
Roberts, M. 2013. ‘A big night out’: young people’s drinking, social practice and spatial experience in the ‘liminoid’ zones of English night-time cities. Urban Studies. OnlineFirst.
Affordances, young people, parks and alcohol consumption (2013)
Townshend, T.G. and Roberts, M. 2013. Affordances, young people, parks and alcohol consumption. Journal of Urban Design. 18 (4), pp. 494-516.

2009

Planning, urban design and the night-time city: still at the margins? (2009)
Roberts, M. 2009. Planning, urban design and the night-time city: still at the margins? Criminology and Criminal Justice. 9 (4), pp. 487-506.

2008

Book Review: Grant, J.(ed) Planning the Good Community: New Urbanism in Theory and Practice, Abingdon, Routledge (2008)
Roberts, M. 2008. Book Review: Grant, J.(ed) Planning the Good Community: New Urbanism in Theory and Practice, Abingdon, Routledge. Planning Theory and Practice. 9 (3), p. 418.
A comfortable night out? Alcohol, drunkenness and inclusive town centres (2008)
Eldridge, A. and Roberts, M. 2008. A comfortable night out? Alcohol, drunkenness and inclusive town centres. Area. 40 (3), pp. 365-374.
Hen parties: bonding or brawling? (2008)
Eldridge, A. and Roberts, M. 2008. Hen parties: bonding or brawling? Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. 15 (3), pp. 323-328.
Unfinished business: an evaluation of the Licensing Act 2003 (2008)
Roberts, M. 2008. Unfinished business: an evaluation of the Licensing Act 2003. Alcohol Alert. 2008 (2).

2007

The night-time economy and sustainable town centres: dilemmas for local government (2007)
Roberts, M. and Gornostaeva, G. 2007. The night-time economy and sustainable town centres: dilemmas for local government. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning. 2 (2), pp. 1-19.
Sharing space: urban design and social mixing in mixed income new communities (2007)
Roberts, M. 2007. Sharing space: urban design and social mixing in mixed income new communities. Planning Theory & Practice. 8 (2), pp. 183-204.
Quieter, safer, cheaper? Planning for more inclusive town centres at night (2007)
Roberts, M. and Eldridge, A. 2007. Quieter, safer, cheaper? Planning for more inclusive town centres at night. Planning Practice and Research. 22 (2), pp. 253-266.

2006

From 'creative city' to 'no-go areas': the expansion of the night-time economy in British town and city centres (2006)
Roberts, M. 2006. From 'creative city' to 'no-go areas': the expansion of the night-time economy in British town and city centres. Cities. 23 (5), pp. 331-338.
A continental ambience? Lessons in managing alcohol-related evening and night-time entertainment from four European capitals (2006)
Roberts, M., Turner, C., Greenfield, S. and Osborn, G. 2006. A continental ambience? Lessons in managing alcohol-related evening and night-time entertainment from four European capitals. Urban Studies. 43 (7), pp. 1105-1125.

2005

Conflicts of liveability in the 24-hour city: learning from 48 hours in the life of London's Soho (2005)
Roberts, M. and Turner, C. 2005. Conflicts of liveability in the 24-hour city: learning from 48 hours in the life of London's Soho. Journal of Urban Design. 10 (2), pp. 171-193.

1999

Place and space in the networked city: conceptualising the integrated metropolis (1999)
Roberts, M., Lloyd-Jones, T., Erickson, B. and Nice, S. 1999. Place and space in the networked city: conceptualising the integrated metropolis. Journal of Urban Design. 4 (1), pp. 51-66.

2014

A helping hand? The contribution of the night-time economy to the evolving high street (2014)
Roberts, M. 2014. A helping hand? The contribution of the night-time economy to the evolving high street. in: Wrigley, N. and Brookes, E. (ed.) Evolving high streets: resilience and reinvention. Perspectives from social science University of Southampton. pp. 25-28
Interim spaces: vacant land, creativity and innovation in the context of uncertainty (2014)
Kamvasinou, K. and Roberts, M. 2014. Interim spaces: vacant land, creativity and innovation in the context of uncertainty. in: Mariani, M. and Barron, P. (ed.) Terrain vague: interstices at the edge of the pale London Routledge. pp. 187-200

2013

Re-populating the nighttime city: hospitality and gender (2013)
Eldridge, A. and Roberts, M. 2013. Re-populating the nighttime city: hospitality and gender. in: Henckel, D., Thomaier, S., Könecke, B., Zedda, R. and Stabilini, S. (ed.) Space-time design of the public city Netherlands Springer.

2010

Central London: intensity, excess and success in the context of a world city (2010)
Roberts, M. and Lloyd-Jones, T. 2010. Central London: intensity, excess and success in the context of a world city. in: Punter, J. (ed.) British urban design and the British urban renaissance Abingdon, UK Routledge. pp. 169-188

2006

A place for citizenship? Women, urban design and neighbourhood planning (2006)
Roberts, M. 2006. A place for citizenship? Women, urban design and neighbourhood planning. in: Buckingham, S. (ed.) In the hands of women: paradigms of citizenship Manchester, UK Manchester University Press. pp. 95-126

2005

Transformations in the night-time economy in English town centres: challenges to management (2005)
Roberts, M. 2005. Transformations in the night-time economy in English town centres: challenges to management. in: Brebbia, A., Kungelos, C.A. and Beriatos, E. (ed.) Sustainable Development and Planning II Southampton, UK WIT.

2001

Understanding the city in terms of design: urban generators (2001)
Roberts, M. and Lloyd-Jones, T. 2001. Understanding the city in terms of design: urban generators. in: Roberts, M. and Greed, C. (ed.) Approaching urban design: the design process Essex, UK Pearson Education. pp. 8-17
Urban composition (2001)
Roberts, M. 2001. Urban composition. in: Roberts, M. and Greed, C. (ed.) Approaching urban design: the design process Harlow, UK Longman.
Contemporary issues and the public realm (2001)
Roberts, M. 2001. Contemporary issues and the public realm. in: Roberts, M. and Greed, C. (ed.) Approaching urban design: the design process Harlow, UK Longman.
The integrated metropolis: a strategy for the networked, multi-centred city (2001)
Lloyd-Jones, T., Roberts, M., Nice, S. and Erickson, B. 2001. The integrated metropolis: a strategy for the networked, multi-centred city. in: Madanipour, A., Healey, P. and Hull, A. (ed.) The governance of place: space and planning processes Aldershot, UK Ashgate. pp. 102-123

1997

Mixed uses and urban design (1997)
Roberts, M. and Lloyd-Jones, T. 1997. Mixed uses and urban design. in: Coupland, A. (ed.) Reclaiming the city: mixed use development London, UK. E & FN Spon. pp. 149-178

2013

Fair shared cities: the impact of gender planning in Europe (2013)
Roberts, M. and Sanchez de Madariaga, I. (ed.) 2013. Fair shared cities: the impact of gender planning in Europe. London Ashgate.

2009

Planning the night-time city (2009)
Roberts, M. and Eldridge, A. 2009. Planning the night-time city. Abingdon Routledge.

2007

Rediscovering mixed-use streets: the contribution of local high streets to sustainable communities (2007)
Jones, P., Roberts, M. and Morris, L. 2007. Rediscovering mixed-use streets: the contribution of local high streets to sustainable communities. Bristol Policy Press in association with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Creating and sustaining mixed income communities in Scotland: a good practice guide (2007)
Bailey, Nick, Haworth, A., Manzi, T. and Roberts, M. 2007. Creating and sustaining mixed income communities in Scotland: a good practice guide. Published for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation by Chartered Institute of Housing.

2006

Creating and sustaining mixed income communities: a good practice guide (2006)
Bailey, Nick, Haworth, A., Manzi, T., Paranagamage, P. and Roberts, M. 2006. Creating and sustaining mixed income communities: a good practice guide. Chartered Institute of Housing/Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

2001

Approaching urban design: the design process (2001)
Roberts, M. and Greed, C. (ed.) 2001. Approaching urban design: the design process. Longman, UK Longman.

2012

Local variations in youth drinking cultures (2012)
Roberts, M., Townshend, T.G., Pappalepore, I., Eldridge, A. and Mulyawan, B. 2012. Local variations in youth drinking cultures. Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

2007

Expecting 'Great Things'? The impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on democratic involvement, dispersal and drinking cultures (2007)
Roberts, M. and Eldridge, A. 2007. Expecting 'Great Things'? The impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on democratic involvement, dispersal and drinking cultures. London University of Westminster.

2004

First national survey evening and night-time activities in England (2004)
Roberts, M. and Gornostaeva, G. 2004. First national survey evening and night-time activities in England. London, UK The Civic Trust.
Good practice in managing the evening and late night economy: a literature review from an environmental perspective (2004)
Roberts, M. 2004. Good practice in managing the evening and late night economy: a literature review from an environmental perspective. London, UK Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

2002

A continental ambience? A study of the urban management of mixed-use entertainment neighbourhoods in northern European cities (2002)
Roberts, M., Newman, P., Bailey, Nick, Greenfield, S., Osborn, G. and Edmundson, T. 2002. A continental ambience? A study of the urban management of mixed-use entertainment neighbourhoods in northern European cities. London, UK Institute of Alcohol Studies.

2007

Quieter safer cheaper (2007)
Roberts, M. and Eldridge, A. 2007. Quieter safer cheaper. New concepts and approaches for Urban and Regional Policy and Planning?. Leuven, Belgium 02 - 03 Apr 2007

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