ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership Collaborative Award PhD Studentship 2018: Future Climate and Change in Liveability of a Citys Housing Environment

University of Sheffield - School of Architecture

Awards provide fees and maintenance at standard Research Council Rates (£14,777 in Session 2018/19) for eligible applicants.

The Sheffield School of Architecture in collaboration with Sheffield Housing Company is delighted to host an ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship due to start in October 2018. The project seeks to better understand how greater sustainability and liveability within urban housing environments can be secured in the era of low-carbon circular economy.

Restructuring urban housing to deliver affordable sustainable homes while improving the liveability and sustainability of the built environment is one of the most pressing contemporary societal challenges in the UK and internationally. New housing development needs to balance affordability against the use of building technologies and site designs that can mitigate their ecological impacts.

This project aims to demonstrate how urban microclimate modelling of the design of housing developments can generate effective descriptors and predictors of change in liveability and thus contribute to improved housing design outcomes (liveability and decarbonisation) by influencing the appraisal of project designs.

The proposed doctoral research project seeks to answer the following questions: 

  1. How might the interaction between energy-driven housing stock restructuring and future climate change impact on the liveability of urban housing developments?
  2. Can urban microclimate modelling of the environmental quality of spaces between buildings in lead to measurable changes in the liveability of urban housing environments?
  3. What new methods of assessment, prediction, reporting and appraisal of liveability and sustainability of housing developments can be developed through co-design with stakeholders? 

The project will be in partnership with the Sheffield Housing Company (SHC). SHC is a unique joint venture between the Sheffield City Council, Keepmoat Homes (a leading house builder) and Great Places Housing Group (a developer and registered provider of affordable housing). SHC is the biggest developer of new housing in the city. 

The successful candidate will benefit from the assistance of SHC including access to its partners and the professional team of architects, landscape architects and engineers in carrying out their research. With the ability to review the performance of the multiple new-build housing estates already built over the past five years, and influence decision making on the next 1,000 homes currently in the design stage, this research project will enjoy unprecedented access to data and industry professionals that sets it apart from other PhDs. The Project Director of SHC, John Clephan, will be part of the supervision team. Academic supervision will be jointly provided by Dr Chengzhi Peng (School of Architecture, University of Sheffield) and Professor Ed Ferrari (Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University). 

To apply please complete an application at

In the supporting statement please state you are applying for this project and outline your reasons for doing so. For more information on the project, please contact Dr Chengzhi Peng (

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Northern England