Professor David Robinson
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Head of Department
Professor of Housing and Urban Studies
+44 114 222 7947
Full contact details
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
I joined into the Department in 2019 having previously served as Head of Geography. My interest in the fields of urban studies and housing first emerged during my undergraduate degree in geography at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and was subsequently pursued through a PhD at the University of Edinburgh.
Following a post-doctoral research position at Loughborough University I moved to the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. I served as Director of Centre prior to moving to the University of Sheffield in 2016.
I am a member of the management board of the Housing Studies journal and a trustee of the Housing Studies Charitable Trust. I have served as Managing Editor of the Housing Studies journal and was a founding editor of People, Place and Policy Online. I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
- Research interests
My research practice is situated at the interface of planning, geography and social policy and focuses on exposing and understanding contemporary challenges in urban society and critically analysing the responses of policy and practice.
Much of my career has been spent at the interface of knowledge and action. My work is dominated by an interest in questions of how inequality arises, the associated burdens and benefits, and issues of social justice.
Decent, secure housing provides more than just a roof over someone’s head. It is a place of safety and security. It can promote health and well-being and inform life chances.
My work has sought to expose and understand inequalities in access to these benefits within the UK housing system; related processes of urban transformation; and associated consequences for people and places.
Particular areas of interest include the politics and provision of social housing; discrimination in the housing system; and hidden and neglected experiences of particular groups.
The Politics of Community
This stream of work has focused on the new politics of community that has gained ascendency within public policy making.
The focus has been on exploring and critiquing the processes through which particular places are increasingly portrayed as spatial containers of social failure, allowing social problems to be localised and thrown back at places to resolve themselves through the reinvigoration of community.
It has included analysis of the shift in policy from tackling inequality and disadvantage toward correcting the behaviour of social groups / communities seen as deviant. A key concern within this strand of work has been on the community cohesion agenda.
More recently, I have explored the application of resilience thinking to the social world, focusing on the concept of community resilience.
Since the 1990s, the flows of people between different locations across the globe have become larger in volume, more varied in form, and increasingly complex in nature as a result of various transformations in political, economic, and social structures.
In the UK, these global trends have been manifest in a marked rise in the arrival of foreign nationals from a wide range of countries of origin, who have moved through a diversity of migration channels and been allocated different legal statuses.
A new geography of settlement has emerged, with many new migrants moving beyond the locations that traditionally served as reception points for new arrivals into the UK, and settling in locations with little history of accommodating diversity and difference.
The result is a situation of increasing social and demographic complexity that surpasses anything previously experienced in the UK.
My research has sought to explore and understand this complexity and associated experiences and consequences for new arrivals and settled populations.
A key feature of my contribution has been the insertion of an appreciation of place into analysis of migrant experiences, community relations and processes of integration.
Current and Recent Research Projects
- UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (Economic & Social Research Council, Arts & Humanities Research Council, Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
- Living in a small home : expectations, impression management, and compensatory practices. Housing Studies. View this article in WRRO
- Specialist housing for older people in an era of neoliberal transformation: exploring provision in England. Housing Studies. View this article in WRRO
- Urban rhythms in a small home: COVID-19 as a mechanism of exception. Urban Studies. View this article in WRRO
- Housing options for older people in a reimagined housing system: a case study from England. International Journal of Housing Policy, 20(3), 344-366. View this article in WRRO
- Understanding Changing Housing Aspirations: A review of the evidence. Housing Studies, 35(1), 87-106. View this article in WRRO
- Community resilience: a policy tool for local government?. Local Government Studies, 42(5), 762-784. View this article in WRRO
- Reflections on Migration, Community, and Place. Population, Space and Place, 21(5), 409-420.
- A Place for Integration: Refugee Experiences in Two English Cities. Population, Space and Place, 21(5), 476-491. View this article in WRRO
- Towards Intercultural Engagement: Building Shared Visions of Neighbourhood and Community in an Era of New Migration. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40(1), 42-59.
- Security of Tenure in Social Housing in England. Social Policy and Society, 13(1), 1-12. View this article in WRRO
- Migration policy under the coalition government. People Place and Policy Online, 7(2), 73-81. View this article in WRRO
- Social Housing in England: Testing the Logics of Reform. Urban Studies, 50(8), 1489-1504. View this article in WRRO
- A Review of “Understanding Community: Politics, Policy and Practice”. International Journal of Housing Policy, 12(3), 381-382.
- Polish Families and Migration Since EU Accession. Housing Studies, 27(4), 555-556.
- The Spatial Routines of Daily Life in Low-income Neighbourhoods: Escaping the ‘Local Trap’. Space and Polity, 15(2), 125-141. View this article in WRRO
- The Neighbourhood Effects of New Immigration. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 42(10), 2451-2466. View this article in WRRO
- Migration in the UK: moving beyond numbers. People, Place & Policy, 4(1), 14-18. View this article in WRRO
- New immigrants and migrants in social housing in Britain: discursive themes and lived realities. Policy & Politics, 38(1), 57-77. View this article in WRRO
- Continuity or change? Considering the policy implications of a Conservative government. People, Place and Policy Online, 3(1), 58-74.
- European Union Accession State Migrants in Social Housing in England. People, Place and Policy Online, 1(3), 98-111. View this article in WRRO
- Beyond the Multi-ethnic Metropolis: Minority Ethnic Housing Experiences in Small Town England. Housing Studies, 22(4), 547-571.
- 'Britain's 'civilising' project: community cohesion and core values' [35 : 2 April 2007] - In response to Jon Burnett. POLICY AND POLITICS, 35(3), 567-568.
- Transforming Social Housing: Taking Stock of New Complexities. Housing Studies, 21(2), 157-170.
- The Search for Community Cohesion: Key Themes and Dominant Concepts of the Public Policy Agenda. Urban Studies, 42(8), 1411-1427. View this article in WRRO
- Rough sleeping in rural England: challenging a problem denied. Policy & Politics, 32(4), 471-486.
- Housing Governance in the English Regions: Emerging Structures, Limits and Potentials. Housing Studies, 18(2), 249-267.
- Unpopular housing in England in conditions of low demand: Coping with a diversity of problems and policy measures. Town Planning Review, 73(4), 373-393.
- Reforming Leasehold: Discursive Events and Outcomes, 1984–2000. Journal of Law and Society, 28(3), 384-408.
- Owners yet Tenants: The Position of Leaseholders in Flats in England and Wales. Housing Studies, 15(4), 595-612.
- Inclusive regeneration? Integrating social and economic regeneration in English local authorities. Town Planning Review, 71(3), 289-289.
- Health, health promotion, and homelessness. BMJ, 318(7183), 590-592.
- Health Selection in the Housing System: Access to Council Housing for Homeless People with Health Problems. Housing Studies, 13(1), 23-41.
- Housing, Ethnicity and Advanced Marginality in England, Class, Ethnicity and State in the Polarized Metropolis (pp. 187-212). Springer International Publishing
- Housing: Rescaling and Re-placing In Anderson B & Keith M (Ed.), Migration: A COMPAS Anthology Oxford: University of Oxford.
- Hidden Homelessness, International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home (pp. 368-370). Elsevier
- Social housing and worklessness In Fitzpatrick S & Stephens M (Ed.), The Future of Social Housing (pp. 103-116). London: Shelter.
- Living Parallel Lives? Housing, Residential Segregation and Community Cohesion in England, Neighbourhood Renewal & Housing Markets: Community Engagement in the US & UK (pp. 163-185).
- Conclusions, Community Cohesion in Crisis?: New Dimensions of Diversity and Difference (pp. 259-266).
- Community cohesion and the politics of communitarianism, Community Cohesion in Crisis?: New Dimensions of Diversity and Difference (pp. 15-33).
- The hidden and neglected experiences of homelessness in rural England, International Perspectives on Rural Homelessness (pp. 97-120).
- Discrimination and exclusion in the allocation of social housing In Somerville P & Steele A (Ed.), 'Race', Housing and Social Exclusion
- Housing, planning and economic development in the English regions: strategy co-ordination or confusion? In Wilcox S (Ed.), UK Housing Review 2002/2003
- Social policies and social control. New perspectives on the ‘Not-so-big Society’. Housing Studies, 30(7), 1185-1188.
- Promoting Social Cohesion: Implications for Policy and Evaluation. International Journal of Sociology Reviews, 28(5), 552-555.
- Understanding community: politics, policy and practice. International Journal of Hosin Reesearch, 12(3), 381-382.
- Polish Families and Migration since EU Accession. Housing Studies, 27(4), 555-556.
- National policy responses to urban challenges in Europe. European Journal of Housing Policy, 8(3), 334-335.
- Cosmopolitan urbanism. Urban Studies, 45(1), 233-234.
- Urban regeneration, community power and the (in)significance of 'race',. Urban Studies, 43(3), 707-709.
- Two Steps Forward. Housing Policy into the New Millennium. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 23(3), 379-383.
- Past, present and future: Housing policy and poor-quality homes
- View this article in WRRO FORMS AND MECHANISMS OF EXCLUSION IN CONTEMPORARY HOUSING SYSTEMS: A SCOPING STUDY
- Older People's Housing, Care and Support Needs in Greater Cambridge, 2017-2036
- Evaluation of Extra Care Housing in Wales
- Whole Household Key Worker Interventions: Learning from Sheffield
- The Economic Impact of Social Housing Organisations in Northern Ireland
- Direct Payment of Housing Benefit: Are Social Landlords Ready?
- Houses into Homes: Final Evaluation Report
- The Housing Options of Older People in Doncaster
- Measuring Community Cohesion
- An Evaluation of Getting on Together: The Community Cohesion Strategy for Wales
- Neighbourhood Resilience in Sheffield: Getting by in Hard Times
- An Evaluation of the Gateway Protection Programme
- Families and Work: Revisiting Barriers to Employment
- Community Mapping and Tension Monitoring
- Living Through Change in Challenging Neighbourhoods: Thematic Analysis
- Interventions in housing and the physical environment in deprived neighbourhoods
- Young People and Community Cohesion: Analysis from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England
- The Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP) 2008: a process and impact assessment
- Work and worklessness in deprived neighbourhoods. Policy assumptions and personal experiences
- Housing Market Renewal and Community Cohesion
- Social housing and worklessness: Qualitative research findings
- Social housing and worklessness: Key policy messages
- Minority Ethnic Residential Experiences and Requirements in the Bridging NewcastleGateshead Area
- National Evaluation of the HMR Pathfinder Programme, Baseline Report
- The Housing Pathways of New Immigrants
- Understanding Housing Demand. Learning From Rising Markets In Yorkshire And The Humber
- A Review Of The Evidence Base On Frequent Moving Among Disadvantaged Groups
- Neighbourhood Experiences of New Immigration. Reflections on the Evidence Base
- How Housing Management Can Contribute to Community Cohesion
- Housing and Community Cohesion: The Contribution of NDC Pathfinders
- Hidden Homelessness in Rural England: Homeless People Staying with Family and Friends
- Your Place, Not Mine: Homeless People Staying with Family and Friends
- Somali Housing Experiences in England
- Homelessness and Rough Sleeping in North Lincolnshire
- A Question of Investment: From Funding Bids to BME Housing Opportunities
- Preventing Homelessness: The Role of Housing Management
- Estimating Homelessness in Rural Areas: A Step-By-Step Guide and Sourcebook of Information and Ideas
- Housing in the English Regions: A Review and Evaluation of Regional Housing Statements
- Leasehold Valuation Tribunals: Extending the Remit
- Changing Demand, Changing Neighbourhoods: The Response of Social Landlords
- Housing Black and Minority Ethnic People in Sheffield
- The Impact of Leasehold Reform: Flat Dwellers’ Experiences of Leasehold Enfranchisement and Lease Renewal
- Inclusive Regeneration: Local Authorities’ Corporate Strategies for Tackling Disadvantage
- The Time-Space Biographies of Daily Life in Six Deprived Neighbourhoods.
- Causes and experiences of poverty among economic migrants in the UK.
- New Migration, Neighbourhood Effects and Community Relations.
- Families, Friends and Neighbours: Social Relations and Support in Six Low Income Neighbourhoods.
- Hidden homelessness. In International Encyclopaedia of Housing and Home. Oxford: Elsevier.
- The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
- Research group
I am Secondary Supervisor for the following research students:
- Ingun Borg, Impact of welfare reform on low-income families' employment strategies: the case of Universal Credit in-work progression
- Helen Brown, Housing and ageing
- Bruce Moore, The Social Construction of Sheltered Housing: Considering the attitudes and expectations of older people living in social rented ‘retirement’ and affordable ‘extra care’ housing in England
- Itzel San Roman Pineda, The Impact of the Tourism Industry on inequality in Southeast Mexico
- Teaching activities
My approach to teaching is rooted in a commitment to promoting positive change within society by bringing expertise and knowledge to bear on contemporary challenges facing public policy, whilst simultaneously engaging in philosophising about the way things are and might be.
My teaching contributions centre on contemporary housing issues and challenges, including the problems that particular groups encounter negotiating a satisfactory residential settlement within the contemporary housing system.
I teach on the following modules: