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Peter Brown's story

Peter is now retired after pursuing a career as an academic town planner.
Peter Brown
Peter Brown

I left school in 1965 (after being Captain of the 1st XV and playing for Shropshire U19s) to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Liverpool. In my third year, I took an option in town planning. On graduation, with a 2.1, I pursued a 2-year Master of Civic Design (MCD) [in town planning] in the University of Liverpool Department of Civic Design, the oldest planning school in the world. The department was established in 1908 by William Hesketh Lever, who had become interested in the subject, after developing Port Sunlight to accommodate his employees. Lever established the department, using funds derived from his successful libel case, against the Daily Mail, in a challenge to a story published about Sunlight Soap.

On completion of my MCD, I started a PhD and in 1972, I was appointed to a Lectureship in Transport Studies. I was later promoted to a Senior Lectureship. I obtained my PhD in 1993, based on published work. My department had previously been entirely postgraduate. I introduced undergraduate programmes in town planning in 1997 and was Director Undergraduate Studies from 1997 until I retired in 2014.

I became involved in the operation of a number of professional bodies, including the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). I was Hon Secretary of the European Organising Committee of the Regional Science Association (RSA) from 1980 until 1985 and Hon Treasurer of the RSA International: British and Irish Section from 1972 until 1997 and thus involved in organising an annual programme of academic conferences across Europe. I served as Chairman of the Merseyside and Warrington Group of CILT for many years and as Chairman of the Transport Committee of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. I also presented academic papers at the above conferences and in the United States and Japan.

I undertook research across a number of disciplinary areas primarily based on my involvement in the development of small area typologies based on data derived from the Census of Population (the field generally known as 'geodemographics' which has a very wide range of commercial applications, known as 'target marketing'). In combination with geographic information systems (GIS) (computer-based 'mapping'), I undertook a number of projects involving public sector applications of geodemographics which included applications in the fields of spatial epidemiology, crime pattern analysis, sephology (voting patterns), variation in rates of university student recruitment from different social groups and the spatial targetting of urban policy. In the 1990s, I also undertook research on economic development issues which involved making a number of trips to Shanghai and Beijing.

I ended up having the following postnominals: BEng (Civ Eng), MCD, PhD, MRTPI, FCILT, FSS, FRGS.

 

 

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