Professor Mike Gibson

Professor Mike Gibson

Associate Director

Emeritus Professor of Urban Planning, London South Bank University

Mike is a geographer-planner with over 40 years experience of university teaching, management and research, private sector consultancy and local government practice. He is an internationally known specialist in neighbourhood regeneration with experience in the Netherlands, the USA, Cyprus, Israel, the UAE and Turkey. During the 1970s, whilst teaching at the Birmingham School of Planning, he founded and led Community Planning Associates, a group of volunteer planners who provided free technical support to neighbourhood groups in the West Midlands and has since continued to work with neighbourhood organisations in a variety of technical and advisory roles.

From 1986 to 1996 he was Head of the Department of Town Planning and then Head of the School of Urban Development and Policy at South Bank University, where he was awarded a professorship in 1989. Under his leadership the School achieved excellent national ratings in both research and teaching. During the 1980s he was a nationally elected member of the RTPI Council and chair of its Education Board. From 1997 to 2001 he was Director of the University’s Local Economy Policy Unit (LEPU) an applied research, consultancy and advanced training unit. Since 2001, as Emeritus Professor of Urban Planning, he has worked as an independent researcher and consultant, dividing his time between the UK and Turkey.

During the past 25 years Mike has directed a wide range of research and consultancy projects funded by government agencies foundations and the private sector, both in the UK and abroad. These projects include: an assessment of the relevance for the Dutch government of the relevance of the UK neighbourhood regeneration experience; evaluations of the UK National Home Improvement Council Neighbourhood Regeneration Services, Brixton City Challenge and four SRB programmes; and a Sustainable Community Buildings Pilot Study, commissioned by the Civic Trust.

Much of his recent UK work centres on the development and application of the concept of ‘carbon neutral neighbourhoods’. This includes a web-based Guide to Low Carbon Housing Development for SECBE; support to eaga plc for the development of a local carbon offset mechanism for implementing planning policies for low carbon housing development and for the company’s initial low carbon communities programme; and the development of a Neighbourhood Carbon Reduction Plan for the Deeside Neighbourhood Renewal Area. He is currently contributing, with Nick Wates Associates, to the Locality-led Building Community Consortium, which is one of the four organisations delivering the CLG Supporting Communities and Neighbourhoods in Planning programme.

Mike’s work in Turkey is focussed on contributing, to the development of community-based neighbourhood regeneration as a major component of earthquake mitigation in Istanbul. This work has been undertaken in collaboration with Dr Arzu Kocabas of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University where he is Visiting Professor. In the context of Turkey’s ongoing EU harmonisation process a range of research and technical exchange projects, commissioned by the Mayor of Istanbul, District Mayors and UKTI have assessed the relevance of UK and EU experience for Istanbul. Also strategic development frameworks have been prepared for three Istanbul districts. Current projects, funded by the government housing agency TOKI and a major construction company focus on the challenge of developing sustainable, low carbon approaches to the delivery of neighbourhood regeneration.