Her teaching and research work focuses on urban design, environmental psychology and user participation in design. She holds a PhD in urban design and a PostDoc in housing and regeneration sponsored by the European Union. She is a founding member of the Urban Sustainability through Environmental Design Network, an international network of urban design theorists and practitioners formed to research, co-ordinate and disseminate tools of sustainable urban design, with special emphasis on urban public space and its value to sustaining fulfilled lives.
In the Department she is Director of the Masters course in Urban Design. The course has a strategic collaboration with Glasgow City Council.
She collaborates on the course in Environmental Psychology at the University of West of Scotland, Department of Psychology with Edward Edgerton, with whom she organized the Conference Environmental Psychology in the UK: Bridging the Gap, in September 2005.
She is part of UDSU – Urban Design Studies Unit.
- Principal investigator – Gateways to the Professions: Urban Design Skills, sponsored by RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) and DfES (Department for Education and Skills). This resulted in the development of a draft for an online Urban Design course. With Prof Porta she is now developing this into a Higher Programme in Urbanism.
- Co-investigator in the Research Project Multimodal Representation of Urban Space, sponsored by AHRC/EPSRC and Research Partner in the Research project: Open Urban Spaces (OPUS) on use and meaning of public spaces in European Capitals of Culture, sponsored by the Norwegian Research Council.
- Principal investigator – Research and Development Fund with Architecture and Design Scotland. The projectresulted in the publication of “50 Small Scottish Towns” and “20 Small Towns Under the Microscope”. Joanna Hooi and Laura Hart were the dissertation students and the appointed researchers in the projects.
- Principal investigator – Scottish Arts Council: Communities in Action. A manual for neighborhood regeneration.