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Dr Christopher Maidment

Lecturer in Planning

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Specialisms

  • Plan-making, 
  • The relationship between theory and practice, 
  • Professionalism in planning

Location

HBS 123, Whiteknights Campus

Chris joined Real Estate & Planning in August 2019 as a Lecturer in Planning, with research interests in plan-making and professionalism. Chris is a chartered planner, having previously worked at Anglia Ruskin University and as a Planning Policy Officer for Bassetlaw District Council.

Prior to this, Chris studied for his PhD at the University of Sheffield. His PhD draws on different ways in which the ‘public interest’ can be understood, and how these variations are present in plan-making. The fieldwork explored case studies of spatial plan-making in Central Lincolnshire and the Peak District National Park, using multiple qualitative methods.

At the core of Chris’ research interests is understanding the relationship between normative theories of planning and the practice environment; both how planning theory should shape practice and how practice should influence the development of theory.

Qualifications

  • PhD Town & Regional Planning (September 2011–March 2016), The University of Sheffield. Thesis: Planning in the Public Interest? Looking for the ‘public interest’ in English plan-making
  • MA Town & Regional Planning (September 2010–September 2011), The University of Sheffield
  • BA (Hons) Geography & Planning with Employment Experience (September 2006–July 2010), The University of Sheffield
  • Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI, since June 2017)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Town & Country Planning Association

Generating a Culture of Effective Planning: Exploring the Role of Organisational Arrangements

January 2020 – Present

Funded by the David Robbins Fund, this research will explore how the day-to-day agency of planners is influenced by the practical arrangements of the organisations they work within, for example around recruitment, hierarchy and geographical arrangements. The research will take the form of a series of interviews. The proposed participants are to be drawn from a range of organisational arrangements that are distinctive from typical local planning authorities.

Brandia: Developing a Resilience Informed Decision Making Framework for Sustainable Drainage Systems

October 2018 – March 2020

Brandia aims to develop a framework to encourage the incorporation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in urban planning. Working with partners in Brazil, India and the UK, the RIDMF is intended to be flexible to all three contexts, with a particular focus on embedding resilience and quality of life as decision-making criteria. My role has been to bring an understanding of the social and political context; both thinking about how quality of life can be embedded in the framework, and how the framework can be best designed to influence decision-making at multiple levels.

Towards a Transformative Practice Framework: Planners, Professional Agency & Sustainable Urbanism

March 2018 – December 2019

The aim of this project was to evaluate UK planners’ agency in transforming policy on sustainable design and construction and the lessons this offers for reclaiming pro-active practices for future cities. The team has completed 41 semi-structured interviews with a range of mid-career (more than 7 years’ experience) and ‘legacy’ planners (more than 20 years’ experience), mainly working in the public sector. Interview themes included professional capacity, sustainability and the role of the National Planning Policy Framework.