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Katherine Brookfield


Former affiliation

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Planning and the built environment
Age-friendly housing and built environments

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Personal profile


Katherine's research focuses on quality of life and the various factors that can promote, or impede, a ‘good’ quality of life. Orientated by this concern, she has completed research on diverse matters including aids and barriers to social participation and its varied benefits, age-friendly housing and built environments, spatial planning and nature-health relations. Her research often employs mixed qualitative methods including interviews, focus groups, observation and documentary research, and draws upon primary and secondary data. She has worked on projects supported by diverse funders including the Economic and Social Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Planning Exchange Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research. Her research is published in high ranking international journals. She won the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) Best Published Paper Award 2023. She has a BA (Hons) in Politics (First Class), a Masters in Planning, and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Russell Group Universities. She has held posts at the Universities of Southampton, Sheffield and Edinburgh and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Prior to academia, Katherine worked in research and consultancy roles in the built environment and real estate sectors, where she analysed housing markets, produced urban renewal action plans and provided evidence-based advice to developers, public bodies and investors.

Katherine primarily teaches on the undergraduate Human Geography and Environment degree programme in the Environment and Geography Department. She also supervises undergraduate and Masters dissertation projects and doctoral students. She is able to supervise PhD students with interests in planning and the built environment, and age-friendly environments.


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Planning policy and quality of life

Masters, Alternative development cultures


  • HM Sociology
  • G Geography (General)
  • Human geography
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • GV Recreation Leisure

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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