Professor Alison Brown

Trustee tenure: 2023-

School of Geography and Planning
Glamorgan Building,
King Edward VII Avenue,
Cardiff CF10 3WA
United Kingdom | Profile at Cardiff University

Alison Brown is Professor of Urban Planning and International Development in the School of Geography and Planning, and Director for the Master’s in International Planning and Development. She is an urban planner and development policy expert with international experience in academia and professional practice in over 30 different countries, in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. She is convenor of the School’s Informality Research Observatory.Alison Brown

Her research focuses on urban planning and development in emerging and post-conflict cities, urban livelihoods, protracted displacement and refugee economies. Her current research focuses on protracted and urban displacement and the impacts of Covid-19 for informal workers. She is leading the livelihoods programme of a major research project entitled Out of Camp or Out of Sight: Realigning Response to Protracted Displacement in an Urban World (UKRI-GCRF). Other research projects are examining responses to internal displacement in norther Mozambique (British Academy, Good City), crisis recovery for informal workers in (EU and donor funding), refugee involvement in cross-border trade in Colombia, Bangladesh and Uganda (GCRF), and Indian Border Towns (internal). She has led several large research projects under the ESRC/DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation and the ESRC/DFID Growth Research Programme, on law, rights and regulation in the informal economy; micro-finance regulation for urban micro-enterprises, and economic recovery in post-conflict cities. She has studied refugee economies in Ethiopia, and the poverty impacts of the China/Africa trade on African markets.

Alison has published on the informal economy, refugee economies and rights-based approaches to development, and has undertaken research and consultancy for UN-Habitat, the ESRC, UK’s DFID, and DCLG, and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). She was an advisor on DFID’s Evidence on Demand service on climate, environment and livelihoods and wrote specialist Topic Guides on Livelihoods and Urbanisation and Planning for Sustainable and Inclusive Cities in the Global South. She is editor of the Commonwealth e-Journal of Local Governance, a member of several advisory committees, and also has extensive experience in planning practice in the UK.