News and events


Westminster awarded HERA funding for research project focusing on Public Spaces

Tourism and Events 23 April 2019


The University of Westminster has been awarded funding from the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) call for research proposals focusing on ‘Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe’. 

HERA officially announced the outcomes of this €20 million scheme on Monday 15 April at a special launch event in Dublin. 

Out of the hundreds of applications received, HERA awarded funding to just twenty research projects, including one co-written by Dr Andrew Smith, Reader in Tourism and Events, entitled ‘Festivals, Events and Inclusive Public Spaces in Europe’.  

This £700,000 project will be delivered by five institutions in England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and Sweden. Dr Smith will act as the Principal Investigator on the London based part of the project, dedicated to ways that festivals and events affect the inclusivity of public parks. He will be assisted by Professor Guy Osborn from Westminster Law School. 

The successful bid builds on Dr Andrew Smith’s highly regarded work on the relationship between events and public spaces, including his recent research on the controversial transformation of London’s parks into event venues.

Speaking about the research project, Dr Smith said: "We are delighted to be involved in one of the twenty consortia awarded HERA funding, and we see the award as recognition of the School of Architecture and Cities' expertise in the fields of tourism & events studies and public space management. 

“The involvement of Professor Guy Osborn from the School of Law also highlights the value of cross School partnerships and inter-disciplinary work. We think this project will deliver some fascinating research on the ways festivals and other events affect the inclusivity of our public parks. This is a key issue, particularly in London, a super-diverse and increasingly eventful city which is famed for its parks and green spaces".

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

For the media

For the media

Here we hope you find everything you will need to research, write and publish your story or blog post.