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.
- Connelly A, Carter J, Handley J & Hincks SJ (2018) Enhancing the Practical Utility of Risk Assessments in Climate Change Adaptation. Sustainability, 10(5). View this article in WRRO
- Hincks S, Kingston R, Webb B & Wong C (2018) 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
- Hincks S (2017) Deprived neighbourhoods in transition: Divergent pathways of change in the Greater Manchester city-region. Urban Studies, 54(4), 1038-1061.
- Hincks SJ, Deas I & Haughton G (2017) Real Geographies, Real Economies and Soft Spatial Imaginaries: Creating a ‘More than Manchester’ Region. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
- Rae A, Hincks S & Stephens H (2017) The role of open access in a changing academy: reflections on a new publishing paradigm. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 4(1), 42-48.
- Haughton G, Deas I, Hincks S & Ward K (2016) Mythic Manchester: Devo Manc, the Northern Powerhouse and rebalancing the English economy. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 9(2), 355-370.
- Wong C, Baker M, Webb B, Hincks S & Schulze-Baing A (2015) 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.
- Ward K, Deas I, Haughton G & Hincks S (2015) Placing Greater Manchester. Representation, 51(4), 417-424.
- Hincks S (2015) Neighbourhood Change and Deprivation in the Greater Manchester City-Region. Environment and Planning A, 47(2), 430-449.
- Deas I & Hincks S (2014) Migration, Mobility and the Role of European Cities and Regions in Redistributing Population. European Planning Studies, 22(12), 2561-2583.
- Hincks S, Webb B & Wong C (2014) Fragility and Recovery: Housing, Localities and Uneven Spatial Development in the UK. Regional Studies, 48(11), 1842-1862.
- Deas I, Hincks S & Headlam N (2013) Explicitly permissive? Understanding actor interrelationships in the governance of economic development: The experience of England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships. Local Economy, 28(7-8), 718-737.
- Hincks S & Baker M (2013) Housing market areas and the strategic planning of housing in England. Town Planning Review, 84(1), 127-152.
- Hincks S & Baker M (2012) A Critical Reflection on Housing Market Area Definition in England. Housing Studies, 27(7), 873-897.
- Hincks S (2012) Daily Interaction of Housing and Labour Markets in North West England. Regional Studies, 46(1), 83-104.
- Baker M, Hincks S & Graeme S (2011) 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.
- Baker M, Hincks S & Sherriff G (2010) 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.
- Lord A & Hincks S (2010) Making Plans: The Role of Evidence in England's Reformed Spatial Planning System. Planning Practice & Research, 25(4), 477-496.
- Hincks S & Wong C (2010) The Spatial Interaction of Housing and Labour Markets: Commuting Flow Analysis of North West England. Urban Studies, 47(3), 620-649.
- Baker M & Hincks S (2009) Infrastructure delivery and spatial planning: The case of English Local Development Frameworks. Town Planning Review, 80(2), 173-199.
- Brown PJB & Hincks S (2008) A Framework for Housing Market Area Delineation: Principles and Application. Urban Studies, 45(11), 2225-2247.