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Dr Sophie Elsmore

Dr Sophie Elsmore

elsmores@lsbu.ac.uk

Urban, Environment and Leisure Studies

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5287-3992 (unauthenticated)

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I am a Senior Lecturer in Housing and Human Geography and Course Director for Undergraduate Planning Programmes in the School of Law and Social Sciences. Prior to joining LSBU in 2017, I previously taught in the Departments of Geography at University College London, King’s College London and St Mary’s University. I was awarded a PhD from the Department of Geography at King’s College London, funded by the ESRC. During which I was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for European Studies at Sciences-Po Paris.

At LSBU, I am the co-lead of the Space and Place Research Group.

I am an urban geographer, and my research focuses on the interrelationships between urban governance and contemporary city building. My research interests cut across three themes: (i) urban governance and legal geographies; (ii) urban planning and (iii) housing and property development. In doing so, my research addresses the complex interrelationships between government (national and local), the private sector, and communities in the governance, planning and management of contemporary cities.

Firstly, my research focuses on the interrelationships between local planning practices and private property development interests in London, paying particular attention to the role of development contributions in seeking to mitigate the impacts of development. By exploring the changing role of development contributions within the planning process, and how they shape interrelationships between local authority planning practice and private property development interests, this research demonstrates the progressive marketization of planning practices, with a growing emphasis on contractual governance arrangements in shaping the politics of urban development. It furthermore calls for the necessity of understanding the role of private sector property developers, emphasizing the importance of conceptualizing them as political actors who mobilize particular strategies of responsibilization.

Secondly, I am interested in understanding the recent turn to adopting build to rent residential developments, as part of a solution to increasing housing supply and diversifying housing tenures in England. Paying particular attention to London, the research considers how local authorities are responding to this emerging market and to understand the geographies of build to residential developments in London. The research questions what the emergence of build to rent reflects about the growing tensions between housing as home and housing for profit, as housing is framed as an asset to be financialized.

Filter publications

Expertise in an uncertain world: The role of expert knowledge in addressing environmental and planning challenges
Elsmore, S. and Congreve, A. (2022). Expertise in an uncertain world: The role of expert knowledge in addressing environmental and planning challenges. Area. 54 (3), pp. 476-481. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12807

Reducing fire risk in buildings: the role of fire safety expertise and governance in building and planning approval
Benson, C. and Elsmore, S. (2021). Reducing fire risk in buildings: the role of fire safety expertise and governance in building and planning approval. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-021-09870-9

Strategies of responsibilization: development contributions and the political role of property developers
Elsmore, S. (2019). Strategies of responsibilization: development contributions and the political role of property developers. Urban Geography. 41 (3), pp. 389-408. https://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2019.1677989