Stephen HincksDr Stephen Hincks


Room number: D11c
Telephone (internal): 26915
Telephone (UK): 0114 222 6915
Telephone (International): +44 114 222 6915


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.


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.


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.


Journal Articles

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