The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Ian Jones

PGD 2017-18


My PhD research focuses on how the reuse of 'redundant' space can contribute to their sustainable development and is focused around the following aim and questions.

Research Aim

To develop a better understanding and explanation of how the reuse of ‘redundant’ spaces in ‘weak market’ third tier, post-industrial, cities in the UK can contribute to their sustainable development.


Research Question 1:

How can ‘redundant’ spaces be defined and their relationship with sustainable development conceptualised?

In cities, with a development paradigm focused on growth, there is a perceived need to create new spaces, whether on previously used land or greenfield sites, for housing or employment, however, whether there is sufficient incentive for developers within weak market cities to utilise these spaces is a moot point and one that I will investigate.

Research Question 2

What concepts of value can be applied to redundant spaces to maximise their contribution to sustainable development?

Economic, social and environmental value are all valid concepts when considering the reuse of redundant spaces, but within weak market cities the economic value of redundant spaces may be prohibitive, if remediation is required, because of the perception of a potential low financial return. However, be placing the idea within the framework of a contribution to sustainable development it may be that other returns on the investment justify the intervention. Within my case studies and the literature on developments from elsewhere I will explore how different value propositions, including blended approaches, have been used.

Research Question 3a:

What is the spatial distribution of redundant spaces and what are their causes and consequences

Understanding the history of redundant spaces, particularly their previous use, will be essential to establishing the reason for their status. Therefore, the time-space consequences of redundant land and buildings can have major impacts on a city.

This question is concerned with whether the location of redundant spaces has an impact on people and place in surrounding areas and if the characteristics and location of an area influences the prevalence of such spaces and the likelihood of reuse.

Research Question 3b:

What are the circumstances in which ‘redundant’ spaces have been reused or not, how have they been utilised and what has been the impact?

Building on Question 3a and taking into consideration wider economic, social and environment perspectives the rationale behind the utilisation or otherwise will be explored. The impact on sustainable development arising from these decisions will be investigated to determine whether intervention is always the most ‘valuable’ option with regards to the impact on the social dimension of sustainable development.



I am currently a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant on the following modules

GEO1096 Geographical Skills

GEO3114 Local and Regional Development