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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Helen Walker is a Senior Lecturer teaching on MSc Town Planning, School of Architecture and Design.  Prior to joining the University of Brighton she taught at University of Sussex before appointment as Chair of Department of Urban Development and Regeneration at the University of Westminster.  These roles included supervision at Masters and Doctoral level.

A qualified town planner, Helen formerly worked in local authority planning departments before moving into central government, firstly at the Environment Agency and subsequently as Senior Policy Advisor, Skills and Knowledge Team, Neighbourhood Renewal Unit.  She was appointed as Interim Research and Programme Director, Academy for Sustainable Communities; subsequently HCA Skills and Knowledge Unit at the Office of Deputy Prime Minister, now MHCLG.  Here she was also associate supervisor on the joint ODPM / ESRC post doctoral research studentship programme, supervising civil servants undertaking doctoral and post-doctoral research.

Helen was appointed as National Advisor: Sustainable Communities and Partnerships, Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government and subsequently as a Specialist Adviser, House of Commons DCLG Select Committee.  She advised the Inquiry into built environment skills: Planning Matters – labour shortages and skills gaps also hearings for CLG Annual Report / Performance of the Department, and Coastal Communities.

Approach to teaching

In my teaching I endeavour to draw on my background in professional practice in the UK and also work overseas for the British Council.  Wherever possible my lectures are illustrated with project based examples drawn from professional experience.  The challenge of teaching planning topics to post graduates who are currently working in local planning departments ensures that teaching materials, content and approaches are up to date and relevant.

Research interests

My research interests are in the history of Town Planning, particularly the impetus for establishment of National Parks, the Garden City movement, emergence of community engagement.  Other interests are political influences on the planning process, including regional government (and its demise), history of architecture and urban design.

Education/Academic qualification

Helen has a BA (Hons) in Urban Studies, an MA and DPhil in Contemporary British History

Keywords

Town Planning, history, theory of urban form, political movements, community engagement

Supervisory Interests

My research interests lie in the history of Town Planning, particularly the impetus for establishment of the Garden City movement, National Parks, the emergence of community engagement in the planning of places.  Other interests are the theoretical and political influences on the planning process, including regional government (and its demise).  The historical development of urban areas, their design; history of architecture and urban form.

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