Professor Simon Pemberton

Title: Professor of Human Geography
Phone: +44 (0) 1782 7 33165
Email: s.pemberton@keele.ac.uk
Location: William Smith : WS 1.36
Role: Year 3 Tutor; Deputy Examinations Officer; School Ethics Committee
Contacting me:
Simon Pemberton

Professor Simon Pemberton is a Professor of Human Geography at Keele University. His PhD was in Human Geography and on the subject of Local Government Reorganisation in Wales (1996).

During his career, Simon worked on several post-doctoral research projects (e.g. ‘Partnership Working in Rural Regeneration’; funder Joseph Rowntree Foundation 1998-2000) before becoming Head of Regeneration for a local authority in North Wales. After four years in practice, Simon moved to become Director of the Merseyside Social Inclusion Observatory at the University of Liverpool between 2004 and 2010. Subsequently, Simon moved to the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) at the University of Birmingham and was Interim Director between 2012 and 2013.

In 2013 he moved to take up a position as Reader in Human Geography at Keele University and was promoted to a Chair in Human Geography in December 2016. His academic work has a strong policy application and bridges the geography-planning-public policy interface. He has research interests in three main areas: 1) The rescaling of the state and implications for rural and urban environments; 2) Superdiversity and the politics and policies of migration; and 3) Community-based planning. He has published widely in all of these areas.

My interests fall into three broad areas: 1) The rescaling of the state and implications for rural and urban environments; 2) Superdiversity and the politics and policies of migration; and 3) Community-based planning.

With regards to the rescaling of the state I am particularly interested in the ways in which the changing structures and scales of the state impact on both rural and urban areas. Much of my current work is exploring the importance of ‘scalar politics’ and how scale is strategically deployed in the context of previous scalar structures to develop practices of ‘scalecraft’, and the ways in which outcomes may vary according to local contestation and resistance. The most obvious example of this is local government reorganisation and building upon my doctoral thesis I have explored how the changing structures and scales of local government can privilege certain interests and actors above others.

My second area of research relates to superdiversity and migration. I have published extensively on the impacts of migration from the EU8 accession countries since 2004 and I am currently exploring the importance of neighbourhood in shaping both the experiences and outcomes of immigration. I am about to commence a major EU Norface research project with colleagues at Birmingham and across the EU on considering how immigrants access welfare in superdiverse neighbourhoods and the implications that arise.

My third area of research relates to community-based planning. This particularly focuses on the process of devolution in the UK and how this has provided opportunities for both divergence and convergence in community-based planning arrangements. As such, it connects with my first area of research as I am particularly interested in how the state has been ‘hollowed out’ and ‘filled in’ concurrently, and the extent to which the process and practice of community-based planning varies.
See the "Grants" tab on this page for information on the Planning Exchange Foundation-funded project "Exploring New Models of Community-based Planning in the Devolved UK"

Selected Publications

  • Pemberton S. Urban planning and the challenge of super-diversity. Policy and Politics: an international journal. doi>
  • Pemberton S and Phillimore J. 2016. Migrant place-making in super-diverse neighbourhoods: moving beyond ethno-national approaches. Urban Studies: an international journal for research in urban studies. doi> link>
  • Enright B and Pemberton S. 2016. Strategies and tactics for local market making in the Temporary Staffing Industry. GEOFORUM, vol. 74, 9-18. link> doi>
  • Pemberton S. 2016. Statecraft, scalecraft and local government reorganisation in Wales. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING C-GOVERNMENT AND POLICY, vol. 34(7), 1306-1323. link> doi>
  • Pemberton S and Searle G. 2016. Statecraft, Scalecraft and Urban Planning: A Comparative Study of Birmingham, UK, and Brisbane, Australia. EUROPEAN PLANNING STUDIES, vol. 24(1), 76-95. link> doi>

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Edwards, GOODWIN M, PEMBERTON S, WOODS M. 2000. Partnership working in rural regeneration - Governance and empowerment?. Bristol: The Policy Press.

Journal Articles

  • Pemberton S. Urban planning and the challenge of super-diversity. Policy and Politics: an international journal. doi>
  • Pemberton S and Phillimore J. 2016. Migrant place-making in super-diverse neighbourhoods: moving beyond ethno-national approaches. Urban Studies: an international journal for research in urban studies. doi> link>
  • Enright B and Pemberton S. 2016. Strategies and tactics for local market making in the Temporary Staffing Industry. GEOFORUM, vol. 74, 9-18. link> doi>
  • Pemberton S. 2016. Statecraft, scalecraft and local government reorganisation in Wales. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING C-GOVERNMENT AND POLICY, vol. 34(7), 1306-1323. link> doi>
  • Pemberton S and Searle G. 2016. Statecraft, Scalecraft and Urban Planning: A Comparative Study of Birmingham, UK, and Brisbane, Australia. EUROPEAN PLANNING STUDIES, vol. 24(1), 76-95. link> doi>
  • Phillimore J, Bradby H, Knecht M, Padilla B, Brand T, Cheung SY, Pemberton S, Zeeb H. 2015. Understanding healthcare practices in superdiverse neighbourhoods and developing the concept of welfare bricolage: Protocol of a cross-national mixed-methods study. BMC INTERNATIONAL HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS, vol. 15, Article ARTN 16. link> doi>
  • Pemberton S, Peel D, Lloyd G. 2015. The 'filling in' of community-based planning in the devolved UK?. GEOGRAPHICAL JOURNAL, vol. 181(1), 6-15. link> doi>
  • Pemberton S and Morphet J. 2014. The rescaling of economic governance: insights into the transitional territories of England. Urban Studies, vol. 51(11), 2354-2370. doi> link>
  • Morphet J and Pemberton S. 2013. Regions Out—Sub-regions In’—Can Sub-regional Planning Break the Mould? The View from England. Planning Practice and Research, vol. 28(4), 384-399. doi> link>
  • Scullion L and Pemberton S. 2015. The UK migrant cap, migrant mobility and employer implications. International Migration, vol. 53(2), 291-302. doi> link>
  • Pemberton S and Morphet J. 2013. Libertarian paternalism as a tool to explore strategic sub-regional planning in England?. European Planning Studies, vol. 21(12), 2020-2036. doi> link>
  • Pemberton S and Shaw D. 2012. New Forms of Sub-regional Governance and Implications for Rural Areas: Evidence from England. Planning Practice and Research, vol. 27(4). doi> link>
  • Pemberton S and Scullion L. 2013. The Policies and Politics of Managed Migration: Exploring Mature Labour Migration from Central and Eastern Europe into the UK. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 39(3), 443-461. doi> link>
  • Pemberton S and Lloyd G. 2011. Facilitating Institutional Reform in England: Reconciling City-regions and Community Planning for Efficiency Gains?. EUROPEAN PLANNING STUDIES, vol. 19(3), 501-517. link> doi>
  • Pemberton S and Goodwin M. 2010. Rethinking the changing structures of rural local government – State power, rural politics and local political strategies?. Journal of Rural Studies, vol. 26(3), 272-283. doi> link>
  • Nurse A and Pemberton S. 2010. Local Area Agreements as a tool for addressing deprivation within UK cities. Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, vol. 4(2), 158-167.
  • Pemberton S and Winstanley R. Strategic partnerships, regeneration management and delivering local added value?. Urban Research and Practice, vol. 3(1), 26-39. doi> link>
  • Pemberton S. 2009. Economic Migration from the EU 'A8' Accession Countries and the Impact on Low-demand Housing Areas: Opportunity or Threat for Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder Programmes in England?. Urban Studies, vol. 46(7), 1363-1384. doi>
  • Pemberton S and Stevens C. 2009. The Recruitment and Retention of Central and Eastern European Migrant Workers in the United Kingdom: A Panacea or a Problem under the New Policies of 'Managed Migration'?. Regional Studies, vol. 44(9), 1289-1300. doi>
  • PEMBERTON S and Mason J. 2008. Co-production and Sure Start Children's Centres: Reflecting upon Users', Perspectives and Implications for Service Delivery, Planning and Evaluation. Social Policy and Society, vol. 8(1), 13-24. doi> link>
  • PEMBERTON S. 2008. Social Inclusion and the `Get Heard' Process Implications for the Horizontal and Vertical Integration of Governance and Policy in the UK. Public Policy and Administration, vol. 23(2), 127-143. doi> link>
  • Pemberton S. 2008. Tackling the NEET generation and the ability of policy to generate a 'NEET' solution - evidence from the UK. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING C-GOVERNMENT AND POLICY, vol. 26(1), 243-259. link> doi> link>
  • Pemberton S and Lloyd G. 2008. Devolution, community planning and institutional decongestion?. LOCAL GOVERNMENT STUDIES, vol. 34(4), 437-451. link> doi>
  • PEMBERTON S, Batey PJ, Brown P. 2008. Methods for the Spatial Targeting of Urban Policy in the UK: A Comparative Analysis. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, vol. 1(2), 117-132. doi>
  • PEMBERTON S. 2008. Supporting Economic Migrants in the North West of England Implications for Economic and Social Policy. Public Policy and Administration, vol. 23(1), 81-100. doi>
  • Pemberton S. 2007. Skills training for regeneration 'recipients'. PUBLIC MONEY & MANAGEMENT, vol. 27(3), 181-187. link> doi>
  • Pemberton S. 2007. Skills training for regeneration recipients. Regions.
  • Pemberton S and Mason J. 2007. Uncovering the "Invisible" minority: Irish communities, economic inactivity and welfare policy in the United Kingdom. EUROPEAN PLANNING STUDIES, vol. 15(10), 1439-1459. link> doi>
  • PEMBERTON S. 2006. Skills to deliver regeneration: Building and releasing capacity in the context of Egan: Evidence from Merseyside. Planning Practice and Research, vol. 21(2), 267-279. doi>
  • PEMBERTON S, Alty C, Boylan R, Stevens C. 2006. Regeneration for all? Measuring and enhancing levels of Black and other racial minorities' economic activity. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 26(5/6), 229-244. doi>
  • PEMBERTON S. 2000. Institutional governance, scale and transport policy – lessons from Tyne and Wear. Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 8(4), 295-308. doi>
  • Edwards W, Goodwin M, Pemberton S, Woods M. 2001. Partnerships, Power, and Scale in Rural Governance. Environment and Planning, vol. 19(2), 289-310. doi>
  • PEMBERTON S. 2000. The 1996 Reorganization of Local Government in Wales: Issues, Process and Uneven Outcomes. Contemporary Wales, vol. 12, 77-106.

Chapters

  • Pemberton S. 2013. Rethinking Urban Regeneration? Insights into the future through use of the Strategic Relational Approach. In Looking for Consensus? Civil Society, Social Movements and Crises for Public Management. Diamond J and Liddle J (Eds.). London: Emerald Group Pub Limited.
  • Pemberton S and Scullion L. 2012. Remittances and evolving migration flows from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to the UK: the impact of the global financial crisis and beyond. In Migration and Remittances during the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond. Sirkeci I, Cohen JH, Ratha D (Eds.). New York: World Bank Publications.
  • Pemberton S. 2012. Entrepreneurship, Social Exclusion and Regeneration policy: moving beyond social enterprise?. In Enterprise, Deprivation and Social Exclusion The Role of Small Business in Addressing Social and Economic Inequalities. Southern A (Ed.). London: Taylor & Francis.
  • Shaw D, Pemberton S, Nurse A. 2012. Creating Sustainable Communities: A Trans-Atlantic perspective. In Community Liveability. Wagner F and Cave R (Eds.). London: Routledge.

Other

  • Pemberton S, Phillimore J, Robinson D. 2014. Causes and experiences of poverty among economic migrants in the UK.
  • Pemberton S, Phillimore J, Robinson D. 2014. Poverty and Economic Migrants.
  • Pemberton S and Scullion L. 2011. The economic and social impact of the migrant cap on non-EU workers.
  • Edwards W, Goodwin M, Pemberton S, Woods M. 2001. Partnership working in Rural Development.
  • Edwards W, Goodwin M, Pemberton S, Woods M. 1999. Partnership Working in Rural Regeneration.
  • Pemberton S and Vigar G. 1998. Managing Change in a Fragmented Institutional Environment: The Micro-Politics of Transport's ‘New Realism’ in Tyne and Wear.

Year 1

  • GEG -10013 Human Geographies (module leader 2014-15)
  • GEG -10012 Practising Human Geography

Year 2

  • GEG - 20015 Space and Society (module leader)
  • GEG – 20010 Practical Human Geography
  • GEG – 20018 Concepts and Debates in Geography

Year 3

  • GEG-30010 Rural Geographies (module leader)
  • GEG-30006 Dissertation

2015-2017 : "The importance of super-diverse places in shaping residential mobility patterns" .PI. Funder: The Leverhulme Trust. Amount: £49,884. (click on grant title to find more details of this project)

2015-2016"Community-based Planning in a Devolved UK".  PI. Funder: The Planning Exchange Foundation. Amount: £4,300 (total project cost: £25,000). (click on grant title to find more details of this project)

2015-18: EU Norface: Superdiversity and welfare state futures. Euros 1,400,000 (January 2015-January 2018) PI UK; CI overall

2013/14: Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF): Poverty and Economic Migration. Review of relationship between poverty and economic migrants. £18,154 (October 2013-May 2014). PI

2013: ESRC (+2 Progress ESRC studentship): Mobility, immobility and empowerment: The importance of place in shaping the educational outcomes of children in care, £37,236 (March 2013). PI

2011: Migrant Workers North West: A policy guide to the migrant cap on non-EU workers, £1,000, UK PI

2010: Migrant Workers North West: The economic and social impact of the migrant cap on non-EU workers, £5,000, UK PI

2009: Migrant Workers North West: Exploring migrant workers motivations for migration and their perceived contributions to the UK, £5,000, UK, PI

2009: Liverpool Community Network: Educational support for Black and Racial Minority (BRM) children and young people in Liverpool, £3,820, UK PI

2008: Skills for Care: Developing a Good Practice Guide to the Recruitment and Retention of International Workers within the Social Care Sector, £20,000, UK, PI

2007: North West Development Agency: Social inclusion and the Regional Economic Strategy, £50,000, UK, PI

2007: Warwickshire County Council: Reducing inequalities in Warwickshire, £6,500, UK, PI

2006: Merseytravel: Diversity audit of the provisional Merseyside Local Transport Plan (LTP) 2, £36,349, UK, PI

2005: Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council: Causes and consequences of worklessness, £5,000, UK, PI

2005: Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council: Economic Market Research – BME communities within Wirral’s neighbourhood renewal areas (NRAs), £18,700, UK, PI

2005: Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council: Economic Market Research - Thriving Local Economy: Small Businesses,£29,465, UK, CI

2005: Learning and Skills Council: BME analysis Greater Merseyside, £2,500, UK, CI

2005: Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council: Exploring causes and consequences of migration in / out of Sefton’s NRAs, £18,700, UK, PI

2004: Liverpool City Council: ‘State of Deprivation’ report, £33,450, UK, PI


 

Exploring New Models of
Community-based Planning
in the Devolved UKPlanning Exchange Foundation Logo

(funded by the Planning Exchange Foundation; published October 2016)

Authors: Dr Simon Pemberton, Keele University and Professor Deborah Peel, Emeritus Professor, University of Dundee


CONTEXT TO RESEARCH:

Given the range of initiatives emerging in the broad field of community-based governance, the aim in carrying out this research was to critically reflect on the separate developments that have taken place across the devolved UK, and to see what shared learning may be derived from the different approaches to designing and implementing community planning.

In particular, the purpose of this study was to tease out practitioner experience and critical reflections on such issues in the design and delivery of local public services in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a view to better understanding how community planning is operating on the ground.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES:

Informed by these debates, the study was designed around six main objectives:

  • To identify and explain the legislative, policy and organisational arrangements for community-based planning across the devolved UK.
  • To identify models of joint-working under community-based planning.
  • To explore how joint-working relations are designed, organised and managed.
  • To consider the implications arising in respect of the interests reflected within joint-working arrangements and issues of community engagement.
  • The relationship between community planning and land use planning.
  • To identify research priorities for enhancing joint-working in community-based planning and links with land use planning.

KEY FINDINGS / RESEARCH PRIORITIES EMERGING FROM THE RESEARCH:

Key findings that emerged from the research were as follows:

1. Nomenclature of community planning: The nomenclature of community planning infers that communities lie at the heart of this field of policy and that it involves a forward-looking – or vision-oriented - activity. However, for some of those interviewed, the view was that communities had quite limited powers, and the term ‘community planning’ was ambiguous – if not misleading.

2. Community planning as evolving policy: Some concerns were raised in relation to the iterative, organisational restructuring and inevitable transaction costs involved in devising new structures and processes of community planning. Many expressed the view that developments in community planning effectively represented a certain fine-tuning, or pragmatism in relation to what was – or was not working. As partnership working is framed in terms of statutory duties, it is important to understand what this context will mean for joint-working of a more informal and cooperative nature in the context of community planning.

3. The governance of community planning: Key findings that emerged from the study pointed towards the importance of a duty on partners to participate in all aspects of the community planning process, the potential of pooling budgets to secure integration of activities, the potential impact of further local government reorganisation on the development and continuity of joint-working relations, and the need for (land use) planning officers and those involved with the community plan to be linked from the outset. In addition, pertinent questions arose over the extent to which those most transient or seldom heard should, or could, be involved in community planning structures, and the impact of previous working experiences on governance relations.

4. The scaling and re-scaling of community planning activity: A number of responses to securing cross-scalar working emerged from the research - for example, the use of master-planning in setting out a framework for securing integrated working. Strong leadership was also noted as helping to facilitate joint-working relations with other partners beyond the local area in order to deliver the priorities in the local community plan.

5. Politics, power and community planning: The changing structures and scales of state activity can both influence – and also be influenced by – the nature of local politics and local political strategies. In turn, the outcome of this relationship can shape processes and structures of community planning. As the structures for governing community planning evolve, so too will the dominant forces, and the strategies that are pursued. Hence ‘objects of governance’ for community planning may be differentiated and focused towards some interests and collaborations over others, some spatial scales of intervention over others, and some time horizons over others.

To download a copy of the final report, please click the link below:

http://planningexchangefoundation.org.uk/reports/Pemberton-and-Peel-Community-Planning-Project-Report-October-2016FINAL(DPSP).pdf

 

The importance of super-diverse places in shaping residential mobility patterns (Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, September 2015-March 2017)

A Leverhulme Research funded project led by Professor Simon Pemberton.

Download a copy of the full report here

Introduction:

Increasing attention is being placed on the impact of new migration flows, and especially on the respective ‘capacities’ of different places to accommodate new immigrants. But there is little discussion over the importance of different characteristics of places in shaping such patterns of movement – both for old and new immigrants and for indigenous populations. Through a focus on two super-diverse neighbourhoods in Birmingham, UK, this research – funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship - explored the links between residential mobility and place. In particular, the research examined the importance of different characteristics of place on shaping individuals' lifestyles, patterns of mobility or fixity, feelings of attachment and belonging and the ‘activity’ spaces of individuals.

Overall Aim:

To provide a critical insight into the ways in which the varying characteristics of super-diverse places inform residential mobility patterns.

Research Objectives:

Research Objective 1: To explore how - and in what ways - compositional, contextual and collective characteristics of super-diverse neighbourhoods are important in shaping residential mobility patterns as opposed to influences ‘beyond the neighbourhood’

Research Objective 2: To explore how the differing characteristics of super-diverse neighbourhoods inter-relate to shape the everyday lifestyles of those living in such areas, and lead to some individuals having more locally based ‘activity’ spaces (for example, home, work, leisure) than others

Research Objective 3: To consider which dimensions of super-diverse neighbourhoods may generate new processes or practices of relative attachment or dis-attachment to a particular place(s)

Research Objective 4: To assess the implications for the importance of place in shaping patterns of mobility or fixity and how super-diverse neighbourhoods may inform patterns of future population movement

The research was undertaken in two neighbourhoods - Lozells and East Handsworth and Ladywood – located within the super-diverse city of Birmingham (UK).

Changing diversity in the neighbourhood, Handsworth

 

 

 

 

 

Places feel threatened / unsafe, Ladywood

Changing diversity in the neighbourhood, Handsworth

This building used to be a church. It shows the change in the population. The church was not used and sold eventually to be turned into a mosque
(Photo Project Participant 3, Indian ‘Old’ migrant, Handsworth).

Places feel threatened / unsafe, Ladywood

This is a building in the park and it is abandoned. It looks amazing but it is derelict and unsafe. It used to attract lots of people smoking joints…..Also, people dump rubbish there which something I would not like to see in the park” 
(Photo Project Participant 15, Spanish ‘Old’ migrant, Ladywood).

 

The former is a traditional reception area for immigrants and where ‘old’ immigrants (those who arrived in the UK more than five years ago) outnumber ‘new’ migrants (those who have arrived in the last five years). Nearly half the population was born outside of the UK. Ladywood - on the other hand, received the highest numbers of new immigrants (those who arrived in the last ten years) compared to any other part of the city and where nearly two-thirds of the population was born in the UK. In total, 152 questionnaires, 40 in-depth interviews (migrants and non-migrants) and 20 ‘photo projects’ were conducted.

 

Key findings:

  • Connections of super-diverse neighbourhoods to other places and the availability of particular services were influential in shaping individuals decisions to move in and stay. Family was also important, although it may not be as important in super-diverse neighbourhoods as ethnic neighbourhoods.
  • Individuals’ resources and dispositions strongly underpin residential mobility decisions. For some minority ethnic groups, the availability of cultural and religious facilities were important in shaping reasons to move in and stay.
  • An increase in individuals’ own resources, coupled with the presence of family elsewhere; the presence of shared identities elsewhere, congestion and overcrowding and the perceived attractiveness of other areas were identified as key reasons to leave.
  • Many Eastern European migrants – and who are relatively ‘invisible’ - settled in super-diverse neighbourhoods once they became accustomed to visible difference. They were also attracted by the visible diversity of super-diverse neighbourhoods due to issues of discrimination by the majority white community in other parts of the city and due to intra-migrant tensions with others in Eastern European ‘enclaves’ beyond the area.
  • Whilst diversity was increasingly common, it was not necessarily leading to conviviality or integration.
  • Language was cited as a key barrier to integration and networking.
  • The continuing predominance of particular ethnic groups was noted as undermining conviviality. ‘Anchor points’ for conviviality were absent or limited to specific ethnic/faith groups.
  • ‘Brexit’ had not impinged on issues of conviviality or discrimination, or on mobility intentions except for those considering longer-term (international) migration.
  • Individuals identified that they had multiple forms of place belonging - to the home, followed by family, the neighbourhood and different ‘communities of interest’.
  • Discrimination around ‘newness’ undermined belonging for some.
  • Established areas of super-diversity are more likely to provide a number of key activity spaces for local residents compared to areas of emergent super-diversity.
  • Work and social relations, combined with the presence/absence of particular services or facilities shaped individuals’ activity spaces towards the neighbourhood or city.

Download a copy of the full report here