Dr. Austin Barber
Centre for Urban and Regional Studies
Dr Austin Barber is a lecturer in urban development and planning at the Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), University of Birmingham. His main research interests include city centre regeneration; city living and gentrification; inter-city competition and co-operation; and comparative urban development in Britain, Europe and North America. In recent years, he has written numerous studies for local and regional agencies around these themes as well as academic and conference publications. Austin is currently a co-investigator on a major, multidisciplinary EPSRC-funded project examining the sustainable development process in Birmingham’s Eastside regeneration district that has recently won funding for a 2nd phase. Other current research includes the growth of city centre living and its planning implications in Birmingham; a comparative study of new urban districts in Birmingham and Lyon, France; and the spatial dimension of creative industries development in Birmingham.
In addition to his research and consultancy work, Austin is a lead contributor to the department’s undergraduate teaching programme. This includes co-ordinating three of the core planning modules, teaching on several other courses and supervising final year dissertations. He also services as a year tutor, exams officer and welfare tutor, and is currently developing a new course in comparative European urban planning and regeneration for the department’s post-graduate programme.
Prior to his academic career, Austin worked as a newspaper journalist for several years in London and Birmingham, covering urban development, economic and planning affairs from a day to day perspective.