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Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures

Beth Perry

Beth is a Reader and Director of UPRISE/Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures. Her research focuses on critically interrogating and developing pathways to more just sustainable urban futures, with an emphasis on urban governance and the roles of universities and academics. Beth joined SURF in 2000 and become co-lead of the group in 2015 with Professor Tim May.

She now also directs UPRISE (Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures and Sustainable Environments), one of two research centres in the School of the Built Environment. Beth has been Guest Editor for a number of special editions of journals, and is a member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, the Scientific Committee for Knowledge Cities and a regular reviewer of journal articles, book proposals and research awards (ESRC). She has a sustained record of research performance at national and international levels and is currently writing three books with Tim May (Cities and the Knowledge Economy, Earthscan/Routledge; Reflexivity: A Guide, Sage; and Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process, 5th Edition, McGraw Hill/Open University Press.

In the last 4 years, Beth has been Principal Investigator on two major programmes of work. She has led SURF’s participation in the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Connected Communities programme through a project on ‘Cultural Intermediation in the Creative Urban Economy’, led by Birmingham University. Since 2014 this has involved working with Jess Symons in an initiative called ‘Ideas4Ordsall’, supporting local people to develop their own ideas for creative activities in the Ordsall area of Salford. She has also directed the Greater Manchester Local Interaction Platform (GMLIP) for Mistra Urban Futures, an international centre for sustainable cities with partners in Sweden, Kenya, South Africa and the UK.

The GMLIP’s projects have all sought to co-produce knowledge and practice with urban stakeholders to support more sustainable pathways. Examples include work on food governance and policy; urban ecological experiments; digital transformations; low carbon governance and the roles of community hubs. Drawing on the GMLIP’s work, a pilot project on “food austerity and digital transformations” was also funded in 2014-2015 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Digital Economy Communities and Culture Plus Network, focusing on a case study of the innovative Biospheric Foundation in East Salford.

From September 2015, Beth will be leading two new projects, both initiated through the Mistra Urban Futures centre. First, as part of a larger project funded by the JPI Heritage Plus scheme (AHRC) and led by Birmingham City University, Beth is leading a stream of work looking at the relationship between culture, heritage and sustainable urban development. Running from 2015-2017, CHIME (‘Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in Europe’) is a truly interdisciplinary collaboration across the arts and social sciences and will involve collaboration with cultural organisations and local governments across Europe.

Second, Beth is PI on an exciting 3 year project funded by the ESRC’s Urban Transformations programme which will set up an Action Research Cooperative in Greater Manchester to co-develop innovative solutions to urban governance challenges with different stakeholders. ’Jam and Justice: Co-producing Urban Governance for Social Innovation’ aims to create a unique space for social innovation to co-produce, test and learn from new ways of governing cities. It involves Co-Investigators at the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham and the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations and will also develop links with Chicago, Paris, Melbourne and Cape Town, as well as other partners in the Mistra Urban Futures network.

Find my publications on the University of Salford’s Institutional Repository (USIR):
Beth Perry on USIR

Please contact me for any copies of publications for personal use.