CoSS PhD Scholarship - Measuring the social life of the city

Researchers working at the Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and the Urban Big Data Centre, two major RCUK investments located within Urban Studies, will supervise this doctoral project.

The project will also sit alongside an ESRC-funded research project on retail innovation and the high street, Real Estate, Place Adaptation & Innovation within an integrated Retailing system (REPAIR).

Project details

Research indicates that attractive places which are easily navigated by pedestrians, and where buildings and public spaces sit together harmoniously, support economic development, foster social interaction, and improve people’s health and well-being. The Avenues Project in the Scottish city of Glasgow is a £115 million investment that aims to make “the city more attractive, "people-friendly", and economically competitive” through major improvements to infrastructure that will increase pedestrian/cycle space, improve lighting, reduce street clutter, and introduce trees on city centre streets. The PhD research will focus on the implementation and impact of this project.

Robust evaluation and measurement of such public realm interventions is currently limited due to a lack of available data and methods. Recent advances in Big Data offer new opportunities to conduct research on new infrastructure in an innovative way alongside traditional qualitative research methods. The PhD will therefore adopt a mixed methods approach to develop an evidence base that identifies whether such investments enhance the social life of the city.

It is anticipated that the research will lead to an empirically-driven understanding of the impact that major public realm investments have on the social life of cities. In so doing, the studentship will reveal new information on the behaviours of pedestrians and cyclists informing not only the future phases of Glasgow’s Avenues Project but also wider discourses in the literature on transformative public space in the city.

Application deadline: 30 April 2019

Applications will be assessed by a selection panel and applicants will be notified if they have been shortlisted for interview by Friday 3rd May 2019. Interviews will take place on/by Friday 8th May 2019.

Find out more, including full details on how to apply, on the University of Glasgow website.