Lauren Andres is a Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning. Her expertise sits within the field of urban studies and planning with a key interest in urban temporalities, air pollution and planning education . She has extensive expertise in leading and participating to interdisciplinary projects, in a variety of contexts mainly Europe, Africa and Brazil.
Her research is at the intersection of debates in urban planning and urban geography. The key word summarising what she has been exploring for the last fifteen year is ‘urban transformations’, at different spatial and time scales. This includes social economic changes and their impact in the production of derelict spaces, environmental changes and challenges for sustainable and resilient planning – with a specific focus on air pollution — and governance and political changes leading to various voices to interfere in the production of new urban spaces.
Lauren is leading the GEES Urban Initiative (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/urban-initiative/index.aspx). The Urban Initiative operates as an interdisciplinary virtual centre bringing together researchers from the School in the areas of human (particularly urban and economic) and physical geography, urban planning, environmental and health sciences. It also includes undergraduates, postgraduates, alumni and stakeholders interested in the urban and will collaborate with other scientists and research units across the University and beyond. She is playing a key role in developing a new field of expertise so called ‘temporary urbanism’ and has set up the Temporary Urbanism Lab (https://www.laurenandresurbanist.com/temporary-urbanism-lab.html ) to allow researchers and practitioners interested in this issue to connect.
Her recent grant successes are exemplary of her engagement in international interdisciplinary collaborations. While for example the ESRC/NRF SAPER looks at the internationalisation of planning education, the DFID ASAP East Africa focuses on air pollution and stresses the importance of the built environment and the local urban context in assessing such environmental and public health issues. In Brazil, through the ‘Re-Inhabiting the City’ project (EPSRC/FAPESP), we question the re-use/re-design of vacant spaces in Sao Paulo’s vacant urban core. Her contribution also includes key outputs to the urban and everyday resilience debate, looking at communities and SMEs and thus interrogating the impact of socio-economic downturns on the development of coping strategies and tactics.