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- Professor of Town Planning
- The Bartlett School of Planning
- Faculty of the Built Environment
Michael was born in Glasgow in 1947 and read Modern History at Merton College Oxford. He pursued his doctorate in the Department of Geography at Reading University under the supervision of Professor Peter Hall and went on to teach planning history and theory first at Oxford Polytechnic (from 1973 to 1979), then at the London School of Economics, where he became director of the interdepartmental Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, and then from 1994 as Professor of Town Planning at the University of Manchester, where he remains emeritus. He joined UCL in 2012.
The apparent diversity of his work – land policy in Japan, economic regionalism in Spain, street architecture in Manchester, railway station design, the history of wind and ventilation, the idea of the garden city, London and its government, collective memory of urban space - masks a consistent underlying interest in the history of planning thought and its mutations in time and space. As editor of ‘Planning Perspectives’, the leading international journal of planning history, he relishes the variety of the field and its relevance to present challenges of city-building.
Michael's research explores the process of knowledge transfer between scientists and town planners. Trained initially as a historian, he takes a longitudinal perspective, following shifts of theory and practice across the long twentieth century. In previous writings the approach can be seen applied, for example, to the design of city landscapes and parks, to reconstruction in 1940s Britain, to paradigm shifts in the field of highway engineering, and to the application of urban climatology in city design and construction. He is currently working on the use of figure-ground maps in city planning, and also on the science-policy networks in 1950s Britain, particularly the Land Use Society and the British Group of the International Centre for Regional Planning and Development.
|1977||PhD||Doctor of Philosophy – Geography||University of Reading|
|1969||BA||Bachelor of Arts – Modern History||University of Oxford|