University of Hertfordshire Urbanism Unit

The University of Hertfordshire Urbanism Unit (UHUU) was established in late 2018 under the directorship of Dr. Susan Parham. UHUU is the university’s home for planning and urbanism research and is located in the School of Life and Medical Sciences (LMS). It is the ‘sister’ unit to the recently established Smart Mobility Research Unit (SMRU) run by Dr. Scott Copsey.

In purpose, structure and research focus, UHUU builds on existing strengths and track record in planning and urbanism teaching, research and partnership working. Research is currently underway into food and urbanism, garden cities, and sustainable materials decision making in the built environment.


The Unit is running research through the University of Hertfordshire-Tarmac Sustainable Living Partnership, building on a previous three year programme of research on sustainability in master planned communities. Read our research paper People, Products and Places research, final report.

More can be found on the UH-Tarmac Sustainable Living Partnership here. Dr Parham is currently leading research on sustainability decision making in the construction industry supply chain.

Other research reflects Dr Parham’s long-term research activity on food and place and is being undertaken as part of a multi-partner international research consortium, the Edible Cities Network (‘EdiCitNet’).

Working with Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, the Urbanism Unit is contributing to applied research on developing ‘Edible City Solutions’ in Letchworth Garden City over the next five years. This food-focused research ties in closely with applied doctoral study by Ms Amélie André, our Herts Science Partnership Research Scholar who is co-funded by LGCHF.

As well as research, UHUU is the location for our UH Planning School which was granted Royal Town Planning Institute accreditation on 17 July 2019. The research unit is also actively developing a planning apprenticeship route at UH.

Externally, UHUU is undertaking partnership work with many other organisations such as Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation through the International Garden Cities Institute in Letchworth.. The Unit also works with key academic partners in the United Kingdom including The Prince’s Foundation who contribute to both teaching and research and with whom we are developing a new joint Master’s Programme in Urbanism. We also have valuable partnerships with external practitioner stakeholders including Gascoyne Cecil .

UHUU is in the process of establishing an oversight Board and will also host a number of UH research associates from Geography, Architecture, Environmental Management, Engineering and Business to be announced.


We hold monthly seminars outlining our research and that of the "sister" group Smart Mobility Unit. They are held at the University and have plenary and discussion sessions, followed by cheese, wine and good conversation.

Follow us on twitter @UrbanismUnitUH