Professor of Planning
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Peter Larkham is Professor of Planning at the University’s School of Engineering and the Built Environment. He teaches on the BSc (Hons) courses in Building Surveying, Property Development and Planning, and Real Estate, as well as the MA Planning Built Environments and the Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice.
Peter studied his PhD in Urban Geography at the University of Birmingham, where he then worked on projects that were funded by the Leverhulme Trust and British Academy, before joining Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham City University) in 1991.
He has published over 80 refereed journal papers and 46 book chapters, presented numerous papers at conferences across the globe, and edited and written several books.
Peter is also Director of Research Degrees for the School of Engineering and the Built Environment. He has vast experience as a PhD supervisor and examiner, having supervised 20 PhDs, examined 38 and chaired 30 vivas.
Peter is currently working on the post-war replanning of British towns, especially those that were badly bomb damaged. Over 250 ‘reconstruction plans’ were produced in a very short period, affecting the layout and functioning of many towns even 70 years later. He has recently studied aspects of heritage in the reconstruction plans, and the heritage of reconstructed areas and buildings as they now become considered for redevelopment. He is now working on the replanning of London.
To access Peter’s public lecture on replanning London, given at Gresham College, click here.
He is also working with the UK Council for Graduate Education’s working group on the quality and reputation of the UK doctorate.
Peter is also an active member of the International Planning History Society and the International Seminar on Urban Form.
Areas of Expertise
- Urban planning
Practices of PhD supervision
BA (Hons), PGCert, PhD
Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy
- Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
- Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
- Member, International Seminar on Urban Form; International Planning History Society; Urban Design Group
Peter has a variety of research interests that cover different aspects of urban form. He has a long-standing interest in conservation, and in recent years has been focusing on the re-planning and reconstruction of British towns after the Second World War. He has published numerous papers in his field and built a worldwide reputation. He has published numerous papers and several books on this theme, culminating in an invitation to contribute on post-catastrophe reconstruction and resilience to the Routledge Handbook of Planning History.
Peter is currently working on aspects of heritage in the reconstruction plans, and the heritage of the reconstructed areas and buildings as they now become considered for redevelopment. Several edited books on aspects of reconstruction have been published, including Alternative visions of post-war reconstruction edited with John Pendlebury (Newcastle) and Erdem Erten (Izmir); and Authentic reconstruction edited with John Bold (Westminster) and Rob Pickard (Northumbria). The heritage interest has recently focused on the fate of surviving war-damaged churches, with a major paper in the US heritage journal Change Over Time and work, with David Adams (University of Birmingham) with a European network for Urban Meta Mapping. Peter and David have also published a study of post-war reconstruction in Birmingham and Coventry, The everyday experiences of reconstruction and regeneration.
He has recently contributed to several other edited books on urban morphology – on teaching urban form and on the contribution of JWR Whitehand to urban morphology (both edited by Vitor Oliveira (Porto), and on mathematics and urban morphology, edited by Lucca D’Acci (Rotterdam).
Peter has also worked on urban agriculture and guerilla gardening, with Mike Hardman (Salford); and on the link between landscape design and regional-scale planning, with Anastasia Nikologianni and Kathryn Moore.
He is Editor for the international journal Urban Morphology and Editorial Board member for Planning Perspectives, Urban Design International and the Journal of Urban Design, and and is an active member in the international organisations that support them: the International Planning History Society and the International Seminar on Urban Form. Peter also has wide experience as a PhD supervisor and examiner.
Larkham, P.J. (2021) ‘Evaluating historic preservation zoning using a landscape approach’, Land Use Policy (online) (with Q. He and J. Wu)
Larkham, P.J. (2020) ‘Governance of conservation area boundaries: agents and agencies in decision making’, Planning Practice and Research vol. 35 no. 5 pp. 526-554 (with L. Deng)
Larkham, P.J. (2020) ‘Rethinking placemaking: aligning placeness factors with perceived urban design qualities to improve the built environment in historical districts’, Urban Design International (with X. Li, I.H. Hijazi and A. Lusk)
Larkham, P.J. (2020) Bombed churches, war memorials and the changing English urban landscape, vol. 9 no. 1 pp. 48-71
Larkham, P.J. (2020) British reconstruction planning after the Second World War: the rise of planning and the issue of “non-planning, issue 1-2 (2020) pp. 16-27
Larkham, P.J. (2020), Encounters with a future past: navigating the shifting urban atmospheres of place’Journal of Urban Design vol. 25 no. 3 pp. 308-327 (with D. Adams, M. Smith and J. Abidin) https://doi.org/10.1080/13574809.2019.1592668
Larkham, P.J. (2019), Persistence, inertia, adaptation and life cycle: applying urban morphological ideas to conceptualise sustainable city-centre change’, vol. 7 no. 2 (special issue on urban morphology) pp. 73-94 (with D. Adams) https://doi.org/10.15320/ICONARP.2019.78
Larkham, P.J. (2019) ‘Bombing and rebuilding’, Context (Institute of Historic Building Conservation) no. 160 pp. 23-26
Larkham, P.J. (2019) The Everyday Experiences of Reconstruction and Regeneration: From Vision to Reality in Birmingham and Coventry Routledge, Abingdon (with D. Adams)
Larkham, P.J. (2019) ‘Alwyn Gwilym Sheppard Fidler, 1909-1990’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, Oxford (online)
Larkham, P.J. (2019) ‘Extending urban morphology: drawing together quantitative and qualitative approaches’, in D’Acci, L. (ed.) The mathematics of urban morphology Birkhäuser/Springer, Cham
Larkham, P.J. (2019) ‘Making sustainable regional design strategies successful’, Sustainability vol. 11 issue 4 paper no. 1024 (with A. Nikologianni and K. Moore) - Open access https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041024
Larkham, P.J. (2018) Agents and agency in the urban landscape, in Oliveira, V. (ed.) J.W.R. Whitehand and the historico-geographical approach to urban morphology Springer, Cham
Larkham, P.J. (2018) Planning in Britain during and immediately after the Second World War: planners, processes and plans, Storia Urbana no. 158 pp. 35-59
Larkham, P.J. (2018) Authentic reconstruction: authenticity, architecture and the built heritage, Bloomsbury, London (edited with J. Bold and R. Pickard)
Larkham, P.J. (2018) ‘Originality and authenticity in the post-war reconstruction of Britain’, in Bold, J., Larkham, P.J. and Pickard, R. (eds) Authentic reconstruction: authenticity, architecture and the built heritage, Bloomsbury, London (with D. Adams)
Larkham, P.J. (2018) ‘Disasters: recovery, replanning, reconstruction and resilience’, in Hein, C. (ed.) Routledge handbook of planning history (Routledge, New York)
Larkham, P.J. (2018) ‘Coventry: a model of modernist reconstruction’, in Fischer, K.F. and Altrock, U. (eds) Windows upon planning history (Routledge, Abingdon) (with K.F. Fischer)
Larkham, P.J. (2018) ‘The importance of observation: urban morphology in the field’, in Oliveira, V. (ed.) Teaching urban morphology Springer, Cham
Larkham, P.J. (2018) ‘Exploring guerrilla gardening: gauging public views on the grassroots activity’, in Tornaghi, C. and Certomà, C. (eds) Urban gardening as politics Routledge, London (with M. Hardman and D. Adams)
Larkham, P.J. (2018) ‘Urban agriculture: evaluating informal and formal practices’, North West Geography vol. 18 no. 1 pp. 1-10 (with M. Hardman, R. St Clair, D. Adams, R. Armitage, V. Barry and G. Sherriff)
Larkham, P.J. (2018) ‘Guerrilla gardening and green activism: rethinking the informal urban growing movement’, Landscape and Urban Planning vol. 170 no. 1 pp. 6-14 (with M. Hardman, C. Lovemore, H. Magidimisha, A.J. Scott and R.P. Armitage)
Larkham, P.J. (2018) Carbon and landscapes Technical Information Note 01/2018, Landscape Institute, London (with A. Nikologianni and K. Moore)
Larkham, P.J. (2018) ‘Conserving the post-Second World War reconstruction: a contentious idea’, in James, N. (ed.) New Town heritage, Occasional Papers in the Historic Built Environment, Kellogg College, Oxford for the Historic Towns & Villages Forum
Larkham, P.J. (2017) ‘Effective ways to deliver sustainability in urban and regional landscape strategies’, Acta Horticulturae vol. 1189 pp. 131-136 (with A. Nikologianni and K. Moore)
Larkham, P.J. (2016) ‘Replanning post-war Birmingham: process, product and longevity’, Architectura vol. 46 pp. 2-26
Larkham, P.J. (2016) ‘The un-necessary monument? The origins, impact and potential conservation of Birmingham Central Library’, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society vol. 60 pp. 94-127 (with D. Adams)
Larkham, P.J. (2016) ‘Walking with the ghosts of the past: unearthing the value of residents’ urban nostalgias’, vol. 53 no. 10 pp. 2004-2022 (with D. Adams) This paper was shortlisted for an editorial award as one of the top 5 published by the journal in 2016.
Larkham, P.J. (2015) ‘Exploring guerrilla gardening: gauging public views on the grassroots activity’, Local Environment vol. 20 no. 10 pp. 1231-1246 (with M. Hardman and D. Adams)
Larkham, P.J. (2015) ‘Early ideas of urban morphology: a re-examination of Leighly’s The towns of Mälardalen in Sweden’, Urban Morphology vol. 19 no. 2 pp. 174-180
Larkham, P.J. (2014) 'Informal Urban Agriculture' Springer, Cham (with M. Hardman)
Larkham, P.J. (ed.) (2014) Alternative visions of post-war reconstruction, Routledge, Abingdon (with J. Pendlebury and E. Erten)
Larkham, P.J. (2014) ‘Townscape and scenography: conceptualising and communicating the urban landscape in British post-war planning’, in Pendlebury, J., Erten, E. and Larkham, P.J. (eds) Alternative visions of post-war reconstruction, Routledge, London (with K.D. Lilley)
Larkham, P.J. (ed.) (2014) Shapers of urban form, Routledge, New York (with M.P. Conzen)
Larkham, P.J. (2014) ‘A new vision: the role of municipal authorities and planners in reoplanning Britain after the Second World War’, in Conzen, M.P. and Larkham, P.J. (Eds) Shapers of urban form, Routledge, New York
Larkham, P.J. (2014) 'Changing ideas of urban conservation in mid-twentieth century England', Change Over Time vol. 4 no. 1 pp. 92-113
Larkham, P.J. (2014) ‘Exhibiting planning in wartime Britain’, in Freestone, R. and Amati, M. (eds) Exhibitions and the development of modern planning culture, Ashgate, Farnham
Larkham, P.J. (2014) ‘The rise of the ‘food charter’: a mechanism to increase urban agriculture’, Land Use Policy vol. 39 pp. 400-402 (with M. Hardman)
Larkham, P.J. (ed.) (2013) When we build again Routledge, Abingdon
Larkham, P.J. (2013) ‘Visions for a new Birmingham’, in Larkham, P.J. (ed.) (2013) When we build again Routledge, Abingdon
Larkham, P.J. (2013) 'Bold planning, mixed experiences: the diverse fortunes of post-war Birmingham', in Clapson, M. and Larkham, P.J. (Eds) The Blitz and its legacy: wartime destruction to post-war reconstruction Ashgate, Farnham (with D. Adams)
Larkham, P.J. (2013) The Blitz and its legacy: wartime destruction to post-war reconstruction Ashgate, Farnham (edited with M. Clapson)
Contributor to Scott, A.J. (lead author) (2013) ‘Disintegrated development at the rural-urban fringe: re-connecting spatial planning theory and practice’, Progress in Planning no. 83 pp. 1-52 (with 20 other RELU contributors)
Larkham, P.J. (2012) 'Exhibiting the city: planning ideas and public involvement in wartime and early post-war Britain', Town Planning Review vol. 83 no. 6 pp. 647-668 (with K.D. Lilley)
Larkham, P.J. (2012) 'Decision-making under duress: the treatment of churches in the City of London during and after World War II', Urban History vol. 39 part 2 pp. 285-309 (with J.L. Nasr)
Larkham, P.J. (2011) 'Drawing lines on maps: morphological regions and planning practices', Urban Morphology vol. 15 no. 2 pp. 133-151 (with N. Morton)
Larkham, P.J. (2010) 'Developing concepts of conservation: the fate of bombed churches after the Second World War', Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society vol. 54 pp. 7-34
Larkham P. (2009) ‘Thomas Sharp and the Post-War Re-planning of Chichester: Conflict, Confusion and Delay’, Planning Perspectives vol. 24 no. 1 pp. 51-75
Larkham P. (2008) ‘Reconstruction Planning and the Small Town in Early Post-War Britain’, Planning Perspectives vol. 23 no. 3 pp. 291-321 (with J.R. Pendlebury)
Larkham P. (2008) ‘Conservation and Heritage: Concepts and Applications for the Built Environment in the UK’, Journal of Urban and Regional Planning vol. 1, no. 3 pp. 165-185 (in Chinese translation)
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