Dr Sophie Elsmore
Senior Lecturer; Co-Course Director: Urban and Environmental Planning
Telephone:020 7815 5804
School/Division:Law and Social Sciences / Urban, Environment and Leisure Studies
Dr Sophie Elsmore joined as a Lecturer in Housing and Human Geography in 2017. Prior to joining LSBU, Sophie has previously taught at King’s College London (2011-2015), University College London (2015-16) and St Mary’s University (2016-17). At LSBU, Sophie teaches across housing, urban and environmental planning, and human geography.
As an urban geographer, Sophie’s research broadly focuses on the interrelationships between urban governance and the built environment. Currently, she is developing work on the socio-political relations of contemporary property developers.
Sophie’s PhD, ‘From the public interest to the marketization of planning: Section 106 agreements and the governance of spatial development’ was completed at the Department of Geography, King’s College London, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. During her PhD, Sophie was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for European Studies, Sciences-Po Paris, funded by an ESRC Overseas Institutional Visit Award. She holds an MSc Cities and BA (Hons) Geography from the Department of Geography, King’s College London.
- Planning History and Principles
- Housing History and Context
- Economic Geographies
- Researching Housing Policy
- Housing and Home
- Neighbourhood Management and Renewal
Sophie’s research broadly focuses on the interrelationships between urban governance and the built environment. Within this, her research interests cut across three themes: (i) urban governance and legal geographies; (ii) planning and the built environment; and (iii) housing and property development. In turn, it addresses the complex interrelationships between government (national and local), the private sector and communities in the governance, planning and management of contemporary cities.
Her doctoral thesis, ‘From the public interest to the marketization of planning: Section 106 agreements and the governance of spatial development’, examined the changing role of section 106 agreements as part of the planning process, and what these practices reveal about the changing interrelationships between local planning practice and private property development interests. By critically interrogating practices of city building and the politics of spatial development in London, the thesis makes three important contributions: (i) it evidences the progressive marketization of planning practices; (ii) draws attention to the growing use and implications of contractual governance arrangements in shaping the politics of spatial development; and (iii) addresses the paucity of understanding about the role of private sector property developers, arguing for the necessity to conceptualize them as political actors.
Sophie is currently developing work focusing on the necessity of understanding the socio-political relations of property developers within contemporary city building.
Alongside this, she is working on a project to develop understandings of expert knowledge within socio-environmental decision and policy-making.