Writer and urban researcher. Author of five books – ‘Camden Town: Dreams of Another London’, ‘Low Country: Brexit on the Essex Coast’; ‘Vanished City: London’s Lost Neighbourhoods’ and ‘London’s Lost Rivers: A Walkers Guide Volumes 1 and 2’. Experience includes multiple public talks and walks (e.g. the Royal Geographical Society Monday Night Lecture, Science Museum Lates), radio (Radio 4, World Service, BBC London), and articles for the Guardian, Daily Telegraph and others. I also write on music for The Quietus and theatre as part of the MyTheatreMates review network.

Design review leader. Extensive experience setting up and running professional design review panels for London boroughs, mayoral development corporations and national organisations, and a pioneering role in establishing community review panels.

Urban researcher. More than 15 years experience working in academic and policy contexts, specialising in urban economies, architecture, housing, urban design, city development, planning, and regeneration.

Experienced writer, editor, researcher and communicator. Track record of working with public bodies, third sector, national, regional and local government and professional bodies.

University teacher. Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Three years experience of teaching undergraduates in spatial and urban theory on UCL’s cross-departmental Understanding Cities module; teaching English language skills to post-graduate students at The Writing Lab, UCL, 2016-17, and as Writer-in-Residence at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, 2013-14.


Sept 2020 to date                Associate, Frame Projects
Leading on community review for Frame Projects. Setting up and managing community review panels, including for OPDC, Old Kent Road (LB Southwark), the Isle of Dogs & South Poplar (LB Tower Hamlets), and LB Redbridge. Leading and managing professional design review panels for LB Camden and for Watford Borough Council. 

Nov 2017 to Aug 2020         Research & Panel Manager, Frame Projects
Main achievements: managing a research project to develop design principles for the National Infrastructure Commission. Setting up and managing independent design review panels, including writing formal recommendations. Working principally with the London Boroughs of Camden and Southwark, Watford Borough Council, HS2 and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.

Oct 2009 to date            Author
Forthcoming: London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s Guide Volume 2 (Strange Attractor, 2019). Author of Low Country: Brexit on the Essex Coast (Penned in the Margins, 2018); Camden Town: Dreams of Another London (British Library Publications, 2017), Vanished City (Strange Attractor, 2014) and London’s Lost Rivers: A Walkers Guide (Strange Attractor, 2011/19).

Oct 2013 – Nov 2017      PhD researcher, Bartlett School, UCL
PhD, funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, investigating the spatial and historical character of London’s railway neighbourhoods. While at UCL I taught on the BASc Understanding Cities module for three years, was Writer-in-Residence, Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, 2013-14, a Writing Lab tutor for two years, and a guest lecturer and tutor at UCL, Goldsmith’s and the RCA. Organiser of Space Syntax Symposium 10 – international conference at UCL, July 2015.

Research reports include design review case studies for Design Council CABE and for Industrial Strategy (BIS, 2014); Looking Ahead to 2050 (UCL/Mace, due 2015); A City Deal for London (Centre for Cities/Central London Forward, 2014); The Past, Present and Future of the High Streets (UCL, 2014).

March 2011 – Oct 2013    Senior Analyst, Centre for Cities
Main achievements: managing research projects and authoring six policy and research reports; presenting research findings to conferences and via the media; managing seminars for large UK cities and Government; delivering seminars on a consultancy basis to UK cities; managing relations with cities across the UK; managing members of staff.

Oct 2009 – Feb 2011        Senior Research Adviser, CABE
Main achievements: producing numerous research projects on housing and on the value of design including ‘Space in New Homes: What Residents Thinks’, People and Places: Public Attitudes to Beauty’, ‘Ordinary Places’ ; planning, designing, commissioning and managing research projects; working with partner organisations; managing staff; running workshops and seminars; representing CABE in high profile public situations.

Aug 2008 – Oct 2009       Acting Head of Research, CABE
Main achievements: planning and delivering a research strategy, including CABE’s Housing Audit; planning and delivering CABE’s monitoring and evaluation strategy, and impact evidence based; ensuring excellent overall quality of research within CABE; managing a £250k research budget; recruiting and managing a team of five; representing CABE research at senior level.

2003 – 2008                       Research Advisor,
Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)
Main achievements: designing, commissioned research projects to demonstrate the value of design including ’21st Century Libraries’, ‘Better Neighbourhoods’, ‘Physical Capital’, ‘The Cost of Bad Design’ and ‘ Paved With Gold: The Real Value of Street Design’.

1997 – 2003          Membership and Policy Officer posts, The National Trust


2013 – 2017          PhD, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London

1995 – 1996         Higher Diploma in Administrative Procedures,
City College Norwich

1992 – 1995         University of East Anglia, BA (Hons) 2:i in English Literature

1985 – 1992         King Edward VI Grammar School, Stratford-upon-Avon,
Warwickshire, 4 A-levels, 9 GCSEs