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Brian Webb

Dr Brian Webb

Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning, Director of Postgraduate Studies

School of Geography and Planning

+44 29208 74709
Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I seek to support and challenge students by connecting theories and concepts of urban and regional studies to practice, stimulating debate about the role of planning in contemporary society, and engaging and inspiring students to achieve their full potential. To do this I draw on my current research interests related to vertical urbanisation, digital planning, governance, and housing. My research interest lies less in the short-term impacts of planning on these themes but rather on the long-term outcomes of planning decisions and the ways in which current institutional structures, processes, and choices might positively or negatively frame the opportunities of current and future generations.



















Book sections







Member of the Spatial Planning and Analysis in City Environments Research Group
Associate Editor, Regional Studies, Regional Science Editorial Board Member, International Planning Studies Editorial Board Member, Urban Planning Editorial Board Member, Transactions of the Association of European Schools Of Planning (AESOP)

Interests / Areas of Expertise

My research interests fall into two main categories 1) I seek to explore the long-term tensions related to equity and public policy at different spatial scales through the lens of vertical urbanisation, and 2) I want to understand how planners and the planning system are adapting to the introduction Digital Planning and of new forms of ICTs.

Current Projects

  • The Community Open Map Platform for Future Generations: Charting the green transition on the Isle of Anglesey/Ynys Môn, Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2023, PI, Samuel, F. 

Recent Projects

  • Creating Prosperous City Centres Post Pandemic Through Repurposing Retail Space, Economic and Social Research Council, 2022-2023 PI: Shahab, S.
  • Measuring Planning Outcomes, Royal Town Planning Institute, 2020, PI: Harris, N.
  • Challenges and solutions for ageing high-rise neighbourhoods in Japan and the UK, ESRC-AHRC, 2019-2020
  • Understanding Welsh Places, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, 2019, PI: Orford, S.
  • The Cardiff Capital Region: State of the Region, City Region Exchange, 2019
  • Rural housing delivery in Wales: How effective is rural exception site policy?, Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru, 2018
  • Identification of Regional Areas for the National Development Framework, Welsh Government, 2017
  • Mapping the Interview Transcript: Spatially analysing stakeholder interviews in Wales, Cardiff University – CUROP, 2017, PI: Orford, S.
  • Making Space of Policy: A Map for Wales, Impact Acceleration Account, Economic and Social Research Council, 2016-2017
  • The Cardiff Capital Region: State of the Region, City Region Exchange, 2016
  • The process for developing robust housing evidence for Local Development Plans, Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru, 2015-2016, PI: N. Harris
  • Exploring methods for the identification of Strategic Planning Areas, Welsh Government, 2015
  • Transportation and the socio-spatial dimensions of travel to work flows, Secondary Data Analysis, Economic and Social Research Council, 2015-2016, PI: R. Kingston



I am currently the Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies within the School.


I broadly teach on:

  • Urban and regional planning
  • Digital Planning
  • Spatial analysis/GIS
  • Site planning
  • Infrastucture and transportation
  • Urban governance
  • Public policy


I have over 10 years of experience in planning practice and research and been involved in policy-focused research for a range of public, private, and non-profit organisations. I have undertaken research with colleagues on national planning policy (2017) and strategic planning (2015) for the Welsh Government, use of household projections in Wales for the the RTPI (2015), infrastructure planning challenges in the North of England for the N8 Research Partnership (2013), planning policy coordination for the RTPI’s Map for England project (2012), research on the implications of migration and geographical mobility in European cities for EuroCities (2012), and undertaken research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in collaboration with research teams across the four nations of the UK on the impact of the recession on housing and neighbourhood dynamics in Local Authorities (2011).

I have experience in utilising a mixed-methods approach to policy evaluation and research through the use of qualitative interviews, quantitative statistics, and the visualisation of data through geographic information systems. I have also published research on well-being and rural poverty.

Prior to working at Cardiff University, I was a researcher for the Centre for Urban Policy Studies at the University of Manchester. I also previously worked in planning practice for the City of Toronto, Canada, and the provincial Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Canada. I am an Associate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and have previously served on the Institute’s Membership Panel and Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru's Policy and Research Forum.


  • PhD in Planning and Landscape, University of Manchester, UK (2011)
  • Bachelor in Urban and Regional Planning (Honours), Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), Toronto, Canada (2007)


  • Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning, Cardiff University, UK (2019-present)
  • Lecturer in Spatial Planning, Cardiff University, UK (2014-2019)
  • Research Associate, University of Manchester (2010-2014)
  • Assistant Preservationist, City of Toronto, City Planning, Heritage Preservation Services, Toronto Canada (2006-2007)
  • Research Analyst, Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Municipal Programs and Education Branch, Toronto, Canada (2004-2006)

Administrative Appointments

  • Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies, 2022-present
  • MSc Course Director, Spatial Planning and Development, 2018-2022
  • PGCert Course Director, Planning Practice, 2018-2022
  • Deputy Chair, Athena SWAN, 2018-present

Professional Memberships

  • Royal Town Planning Institute, Associate Member
  • Regional Studies Association, Fellow
  • Higher Education Academy, Fellow

External Activity

  • RTPI Cymru Policy and Research Forum, 2019-2023
  • RTPI Membership Panel, Member, 2014 - 2017
  • Reviewer for the journals: Urban Studies, Regional Studies, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, Land Use Policy, Planning Theory, Journal of Planning Literature, International Planning Studies, Planning Practice and Research, Town Planning Review, Habitat International, Local Government Studies, Regional Studies/Regional Science, Canadian Journal of Regional Science, Transactions of the Association of European Schools Of Planning (AESOP), Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Italian Journal of Planning Practice


I am interested in supervising potential applicants in the areas of urban and regional planning, digital planning, land use, housing, infrastructure, and governance.

Current supervision

Vivian Yang

Vivian Yang

Research student

Andrew Ivins

Andrew Ivins

Research student

Research themes


  • Housing policy
  • Spatial Planning
  • Strategic, metropolitan and regional planning
  • Digital Planning
  • Public policy
A changing capital

A changing capital

13 December 2018