URBaNE is a research group interested in all facets of urban life, places and people.

We are based at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England.

Paul Greenhalgh

Paul is Professor of Real Estate and Regeneration and Head of Built Environment at Northumbria University, Newcastle. Founder of the URBaNE research group and R3intelligence consultancy, he also curates the North East Regeneration Archive (NERA).

Paul is widely published both in academic and professional circles and is currently involved in research and consultancy projects that explore the potential to use Geographic Information Systems to visualise commercial real estate markets.  

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David McGuinness

At Northumbria I have worked in a number of research and teaching roles during the last 13 years, initially at the Centre for Regional Economic Development (CRED) and more recently in the Sustainable Cities Research Institute (SCRI).  I contribute to teaching on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the Faculty relating to urban regeneration, planning, sustainable development and research methods. 

In terms of research and consultancy I have extensive experience of undertaking applied research across a range of policy areas, including, urban regeneration, economic development and urban sustainability. 

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Kevin -Muldoon -Smith

Kevin Muldoon-Smith

Kevin is a Lecturer in Built Environment Adaptation and Investment in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment at Northumbria University and co-founder of R3intelligence Consultancy. After several years working in the field of urban regeneration, he completed a doctorate in building obsolescence and adaptive re-use in 2015 before taking up a full-time Lectureship at Northumbria University in 2016. 

Following his PhD studies, he has developed three new interrelated research areas: the real estate transition – investigating the evolving relationship between the state, land and property; stranded assets and built environment adaptation; knowledge transfer and management in real estate and planning practice. 

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Rachel Kirk

As a senior lecturer in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, I have contributed to teaching across a number of programmes relating to housing policy and research methods. 

Housing studies provides a varied and dynamic focus for both research and teaching interests. Whilst at Northumbria I have worked on a range of research projects, including subjects such as youth homelessness, housing management, and area regeneration. 

Most recently, my research has explored the strategic decision making of housing associations as they operate in a rapidly changing and challenging environment. 

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Alister Scott

Alister is a geographer and chartered planner (MRTPI) operating at the interface of the built and natural environment. His research focusses on improving the mainstreaming of nature in policy and decision making processes and outcomes. 

Alister champions both interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research where policy and practice communities are embedded as members of his research teams. Current projects include a NERC knowledge exchange grant on mainstreaming green infrastructure in the planning system. Past projects include work on the rural urban fringe (Rural Economy and Land Use Programme); mainstreaming ecosystem science (the UK National Ecosystem Assessment follow on programme); developing game based tools (Participology) to improve policy and decision making.


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Eman Zied

I am an urban researcher and trained architectural engineer. My main areas of interest are urban design and planning, community engagement in architecture, space syntax analysis, informality in design and the complex relationships between right, privilege and inequality in spatial planning.

My research focuses on the growth and emergence of informal settlements in Greater Cairo, and how said settlements can be classified using their spatial characteristics. I use space syntax and urban morphology analysis to look at the integration of settlements within the greater urban fabric of Cairo, and the deeper sociopolitical conditions and implications of informal growth. 

I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Northumbria University and teach in the built environment modules and architectural design studio.


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Nafsika Michail

Nafsika is an Architect & Landscape Architect, with a special interest in Active & Healthy Cities. She is currently doing her PhD in the Department of Architecture & Built Environment, exploring the indicators of Active Streetscapes for children and how children’s experiences could inform a better planning and design, contributing to more child-friendly cities and inclusive places and streets.  

Her interests focus on the crossroads between Urban Planning, Public Health and Health Behaviour She is passionate about the responsibility of the designers on providing motivations for Active Living, through understanding the role of the built environment on shaping values, habits and behaviours. 


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Cara Hatcher

I have been with the university for 9 years and previous to my appointment, I worked in a variety of disciplines within the field of surveying. I graduated from Kingston University in 2004 from the Real Estate Management sandwich degree. I returned to the North East of England to continue my professional training and became a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 2006.

In 2009, I undertook a Masters in International Legal Studies at Newcastle University. Since joining the university I have become a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and completed my Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice. I am currently completing a DBA at Northumbria University part time in my research area of social housing. 

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Zaid Alwan

At Northumbria I have worked in a number of research and teaching roles during the last 13 years, initially the Sustainable Cities Research Institute (SCRI), where I I was involved in key European and international projects around the area of low carbon buildings and sustainability. 

I contribute to teaching on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate within Architecture programmes, and extensive PhD supervision. Following the completion of a PhD in BIM and green building design, I now specialise in the areas of digital construction and carbon analysis. One of my recent projects: I have been awarded key funding by the prestigious Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) around the area of whole building carbon analysis in digital societies.  

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