Meet THE TEAM

URBaNE is a research group that is 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.

Our aim is to improve people’s quality of life, promote economic growth and reverse social and economic decline.

Paul Greenhalgh

Paul Greenhalgh
Founder

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

David McGuinness
Lecturer & Researcher

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

In terms of research and consultancy David has 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
Lecturer & Researcher

Kevin is a co-founder of R3intelligence and a lecturer in Built Environment Adaptation and Investment in the Department of Architectureat Northumbria University. 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 Рinvestigating 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

Rachel Kirk
Lecturer & Researcher

Rachel is a senior lecturer in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment. She has contributed to teaching across several programmes relating to housing policy and research methods. 

Housing studies provide a varied and dynamic focus for both research and teaching interests. Whilst at Northumbria Rachel has worked on a range of research projects including youth homelessness, housing management, and area regeneration. 

Most recently, Rachel’s 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 Scott
Researcher

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

Eman Zied
Engineer & Researcher

Eman is an urban researcher and trained architectural engineer. Her 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.

Eman’s research focuses on the growth and emergence of informal settlements in Greater Cairo, and how said settlements can be classified using their spatial characteristics. She uses 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.¬†

Eman is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Northumbria University and teaches in the built environment modules and architectural design studio.

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Twitter: @EZieD

Nafsika Michail

Nafsika Michail
Architect

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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Twitter: @nafsika_michai

Cara Hatcher

Cara Hatcher
Researcher

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

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

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Zaid Alwan

Zaid Alwan
Lecturer & Researcher

Zaid has worked in several research and teaching roles at Northumbria during the last 13 years. At the Sustainable Cities Research Institute (SCRI), Zaid was involved in key European and international projects which were focused on the area of low carbon buildings and sustainability. 

Zaid contributes to teaching on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate Architecture programmes and does extensive PhD supervision. Following the completion of a PhD in BIM and green building design, Zaid now specialises in the areas of digital construction and carbon analysis. 

On one of Zaid’s recent projects which was focused on the area of whole building carbon analysis in digital societies, he was awarded key funding by the prestigious Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB).  

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Richard Kotter
Lecturer 

Richard is Senior Lecturer in Economic & Political Geography, and was until November 2019 (for nearly 5 years) Programme Leader of Northumbria University’s MSc in Disaster Management & Sustainable Development.

He is now the Post-Graduate Taught “with Advanced Practice” Co-ordinator/Lead for the Department of Geography & Environmental Management. Additionally, he recently was an Acting Programme Leader for Northumbria University’s MSc in Safety, Health and Environmental Management.

From July 2020 (for four years) Richard has been appointed as External Examiner for the MSc Environmental Sustainable and Green Technology at Keele University (UK). From October 2021, Richard has been appointed as external examiner for 4 years at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David for their Cert of Higher education Emergency Preparedness and Civil Protection / University Certificate Emergency Preparedness and Civil Protection.