Dr Stephen Hincks
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
+44 114 222 6915
Full contact details
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
As an undergraduate I studied Human Geography at the University of Liverpool prior to completing a PhD funded by the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA). I moved to the University of Manchester in 2006 to take up a position as a Research Associate at the Centre for Urban Policy Studies (CUPS).
I was subsequently promoted to Lecturer (2008-2013) and Senior Lecturer (2013-2017) at the Department of Planning and Environmental Management at the same institution. I joined the Department of Urban Studies and Planning as Reader in September 2017.
Alongside Alasdair Rae, I am Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Regional Studies Association interdisciplinary open access journal Regional Studies, Regional Science. I am also a board member of the Regional Studies Association.
- Research interests
My research lies within the broad scope of urban and regional studies and bridges the divide between quantitative and qualitative approaches in the social sciences. I have undertaken research funded by national and local government in the UK, charities, the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the European Commission.
Although my research interests are broad, they have coalesced around three interrelated themes:
Applied Spatial Analysis and GIS
My research in this area involves developing and applying different conceptual, methodological and analytical frameworks to understand complex spatial structures and processes and their impacts on spatial development.
It has included studies on commuting and other spatial interactions; measuring the unevenness of spatial economic development; monitoring planning outcomes in space and time; migration and its spatial patterning; the analysis of the spatial impacts and conflicts generated by government policies and programmes; critiques of the measurement of area-based deprivation as applied in the UK; and the measurement of urban risk owing to climate hazards.
Housing and Neighbourhoods
This area of research focuses on understanding spatial housing markets and their uneven structures and functionalities. This has included defining functional housing markets; analysing their relationship to functional labour markets; and interrogating their application in planning for housing.
Aligned to this area of research is a strand of work that focuses on neighbourhoods. This includes research on the structure and characteristics of neighbourhoods; neighbourhood change and transition; and neighbourhood deprivation.
Urban-Regional Policy and Planning
Through this area of research I have attempted to anchor my often quantitative analytical work within wider considerations of the policy frameworks and governance architectures that shape urban and regional development. My earlier work focused on understanding the processes, practices and governance arrangements underpinning urban and regional policy development and implementation. This included research on the practice of local and strategic spatial planning and infrastructure delivery, and deprivation and urban policy in the UK. More recently my research in this area has focused on soft spaces of planning and local economic development, urban agglomeration and austerity urbanism.
- The ephemerality of prominence: a geospatial analysis of acoustic affordances in a hillfort landscape. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 67.
- The ‘just’ management of urban air pollution? A geospatial analysis of low emission zones in Brussels and London. Applied Geography, 140.
- Viewpoint: Temporary urban uses in response to COVID-19 : bolstering resilience via short-term experimental solutions. Town Planning Review, 92(1), 81-88. View this article in WRRO
- Performing the city-region: Imagineering, devolution and the search for legitimacy. Environment and Planning A. View this article in WRRO
- Temporary use in England's core cities: Looking beyond the exceptional. Urban Studies. View this article in WRRO
- The contours of a new urban world? Megacity population growth and density since 1975. Town Planning Review, 90(6), 653-678. View this article in WRRO
- The role of temporary use in urban regeneration : ordinary and extraordinary approaches in Bristol and Liverpool. Planning Practice and Research. View this article in WRRO
- Enhancing the Practical Utility of Risk Assessments in Climate Change Adaptation. Sustainability, 10(5). View this article in WRRO
- A new geodemographic classification of commuting flows for England and Wales. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 32(4), 663-684. View this article in WRRO
- Open to whom? Open-access publishing and global knowledge networks. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 5(1), 183-189. View this article in WRRO
- Real Geographies, Real Economies and Soft Spatial Imaginaries: Creating a ‘More than Manchester’ Region. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 41(4), 642-657. View this article in WRRO
- The role of open access in a changing academy: reflections on a new publishing paradigm. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 4(1), 42-48. View this article in WRRO
- Deprived neighbourhoods in transition: Divergent pathways of change in the Greater Manchester city-region. Urban Studies, 54(4), 1038-1061.
- Mythic Manchester: Devo Manc, the Northern Powerhouse and rebalancing the English economy. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 9(2), 355-370.
- Mapping policies and programmes: the use of GIS to communicate spatial relationships in England. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 42(6), 1020-1039.
- Placing Greater Manchester. Representation, 51(4), 417-424.
- Neighbourhood Change and Deprivation in the Greater Manchester City-Region. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 47(2), 430-449.
- Letters to the Editor: Reply to Overman. Environment and Planning A, 47(1), 243-246.
- Migration, Mobility and the Role of European Cities and Regions in Redistributing Population. European Planning Studies, 22(12), 2561-2583.
- Fragility and Recovery: Housing, Localities and Uneven Spatial Development in the UK. Regional Studies, 48(11), 1842-1862.
- Making an impact: when agglomeration boosterism meets antiplanning rhetoric. Environment and Planning A, 46(2), 265-270.
- Explicitly permissive? Understanding actor interrelationships in the governance of economic development: The experience of England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships. Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit, 28(7-8), 718-737.
- Housing market areas and the strategic planning of housing in England. Town Planning Review, 84(1), 127-152.
- Planning and housing: concepts, policy instruments and market analysis. Town Planning Review, 84(1), 1-7.
- A Critical Reflection on Housing Market Area Definition in England. Housing Studies, 27(7), 873-897.
- Daily Interaction of Housing and Labour Markets in North West England. Regional Studies, 46(1), 83-104.
- Revisiting … Getting Involved in Plan Making: Participation and Stakeholder Involvement in Local and Regional Spatial Strategies in England. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 29(6), 952-957.
- Making Plans: The Role of Evidence in England's Reformed Spatial Planning System. Planning Practice & Research, 25(4), 477-496.
- Getting Involved in Plan Making: Participation and Stakeholder Involvement in Local and Regional Spatial Strategies in England. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 28(4), 574-594.
- The Spatial Interaction of Housing and Labour Markets: Commuting Flow Analysis of North West England. Urban Studies, 47(3), 620-649.
- Infrastructure delivery and spatial planning: The case of English Local Development Frameworks. Town Planning Review, 80(2), 173-199.
- A Framework for Housing Market Area Delineation: Principles and Application. Urban Studies, 45(11), 2225-2247.
- Territorial stigmatisation beyond the city: habitus, affordances and landscapes of industrial ruination. Environment and Planning A.
- View this article in WRRO Introduction In Deas I & Hincks S (Ed.), Territorial Policy and Governance: Alternative Paths (pp. 1-14). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
- View this article in WRRO Conclusion In Deas I & Hincks S (Ed.), Territorial Policy and Governance: Alternative Paths (pp. 220-232). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
- 'Spatial Synergies and Conflicts: Monitoring Government Policies and Programmes in England' In Woltjer J, Alexander E & Ruth E (Ed.), Place-Based Evaluation for Integrated Land-Use Management (pp. 179-200). Routledge
- View this article in WRRO ''A good geography is whatever it needs to be’: evolving spatial imaginaries in North West England' In Allmendinger P, Haughton G, Knieling J & Othengrafen F (Ed.), Soft Spaces in Europe Re-negotiating Governance, Boundaries and Borders (pp. 25-44). Routledge
- Lessons from Last Time: A Review of Evidence on the First Decent Homes Programme in the Social and Private Rented Sectors
- A statistical revaluation of council tax subjects in Wales
- Quantifying Agglomeration Productivity in Long-Term Infrastructure Planning
- A View from the North: Understanding Local Authority Housing and Planning Capacity in an Era of Austerity
- A Map for England: Spatial Expression of Government Policies and Programmes
- Housing and Neighbourhoods Monitor 2011 – Fragility and Recovery
- Regenerating Communities First Neighbourhoods in Wales
- Recommended Housing Market Area Boundaries: Implications for Spatial Planning: Geography of Housing Market Areas in England – Paper C.
- Housing and Neighbourhood Monitor: UK-Wide Report
- Spatial Plans in Practice: Infrastructure Delivery
- Outcome Indicators for Spatial Planning in England
- Teaching activities
I am committed to a model of research-led teaching and to positioning my teaching in relation to contemporary policy debates and professional practice. I am a firm believer in scenario-based teaching, in incorporating ‘live’ projects into teaching and to challenging students to think critically (and provocatively) about policy and practice.
I am module leader for:
- TRP216, Spatial Analysis
- TRP449, Local Action Planning Project
I also contribute to teaching TRP6404, Postgraduate Research Methods and to modules taught as part of the MSc Applied GIS programme.