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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute

Faculty research mission and programme: tWIST

Towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation

The research programme of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences is comprised of three intertwined threads: wellbeing, innovation and spatial transformation. Societies and individuals strive to improve their wellbeing (quality of life, happiness, etc.) and these desired outcomes are influenced by innovation – i.e. a continuous process of improvement that transforms society and space. Iteratively, social and spatial transformation affects wellbeing, both positively and negatively, and can affect how innovation occurs. Wider societal changes, including increasing human mobility and globalisation, affect the geographical distribution of wellbeing and innovation. The consequences of these transformations impact differentially on rural and urban areas, and influence issues such as ageing, health, governance, technology, planning systems, entrepreneurship, cultural activity, investment, and the housing market – in short, the specific topics we study.

Our vision is of a society which is being transformed spatially in ways that allow for high levels of wellbeing and innovation.

Our mission as (URSI/Faculty) is to undertake and disseminate world-leading and highly distinctive research which helps this vision to be realised.

We seek to empower the future placemakers to make neighbourhoods, cities, regions and countries better.

We help them make sense of complexity, contextuality and community by using a socio-spatial approach.

We develop their theoretical skills in questioning, analysing and conceptualising spatial processes in a trans-disciplinary setting; as well as their practical skills in cooperation, communication and implementation.

We believe that the global and local enhancement of wellbeing is best achieved by innovation and spatial transformation that is socially acceptable and sustainable.

We seek to produce research that is communicated and communicable to the global academy and to our societal stakeholders. The distinctive character of our research is that we explore the roles place, space, identity and culture play in the social and spatial transformation of society from a multi-methods perspective. The policy-relevant features of our research derive from the issues we investigate. Our research is built on evidence and experience, while addressing issues of perception and identity.

Last modified:19 February 2020 11.59 a.m.