Susanne Dahm

MSc(Planning) (distinction) PGCert(Dev Mangt) PGCert MRTPI


Sue was awarded a PhD studentship with the topic of 'Social Sustainability' by the Engineering and Physics Research Council (EPSRC) in 2008. She registered as MPhil/PhD student in October 2008 and passed her viva in September 2012. Her co-director of studies are Pete Smith (Oxford Brookes University) and Prof Elizabeth Burton (Warwick University) and her second supervisor is Dr Nicola Dempsey (Sheffield University).

Her research focuses on whether it is possible to 'build communities from scratch' and achieve social cohesion by providing facilities for new communities. It investigates what factors influence social interaction generally and to what extent facilities (and specific types of facilities) have a role to play in fostering social interaction. Her interest for this research developed while she was involved in planning for large housing extensions (up to 10,000 new homes) in the South West.

Prior to her PhD, Sue completed a two year MSc in Urban Planning (with distinction) at Oxford Brookes University in 1998 and worked in the following 10 years in the private and public sector as a consultant, local plans officer and a senior development control officer. She became a professional member of the RTPI in 2001. Whilst working full-time, she also achieved a PGCert in Development Management with merit in 2004 with the Open University and a PGCert in Applied Social Research from the University of the West of England in 2008 preparing her for the PhD.

Sue currently teaches the undergraduate module Global Environmental Resource Policy in the Department of Planning. She has presented findings from her research at the IAPS Conference in Glasgow and the 2012 UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference in Brighton. She is a referee for the Journal Urban Design and Planning, and has previously volunteered for Planning Aid.

Susanne Dahm

PhD Thesis: The role of local facilities in fostering social interaction in suburban housing developments in England