CV: Anne Beer -planning and regeneration of urban greenspaces

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Anne R. Beer

Professor Emeritus, University of Sheffield
Town and Environmental Planner




British - Scotland

Academic and Professional Qualifications

BA (Geography), M.Civic Design (Town Planning), Dip.LA (Landscape Arch.), MRTPI (Ret)


Retired and learning to paint - click for progress

Employment History:

Academic Posts

Professor Emeritus, University of Sheffield (1997 to present)
Professor - Landscape and Environmental Planning, University of Sheffield (retired 1997)
Head of Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, 1981-84 and 1985-1994.
Initially appointed as Lecturer specialising in Environmental Planning in the Dept. of Landscape - 1974
Visiting Posts - Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1984 and Guest Professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 1983 to 1996.

Professional practice - Town and Environmental planner

Environmental Consultancy University of Sheffield (a founder and Director - 1984 - 1998)
Weddle Landscape Research - Associate, 1973 - 1980 (Research into children's play in housing areas)
Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall, Consultant Architects and Planners, 1972-1974. (New Town and Districts Landscape Plans).
Craigavon New Town Development Corporation, 1969-1972 (Landscape Planning).
Redditch New Town Corporation, 1965-1969 (District Planning).
Director - MAP21 Ltd (now ceased trading) -environmental planning consultancy - specialising in greenspace planning and place making projects at the local community level, 1998 - 2006

Research: greenspace and environmental planning

Research interests

see also consultancy


Urban Greenspace Regeneration - a Case study to develop an Internet based information system to aid the managing the greenspaces of Stocksbridge District Sheffield - working for the Steel Valley Project (project completed 2006)

- aiding in the preparation of a report for Utrecht City Council on questions of "liveability" as they relate to open and greenspaces in a regeneration scheme for part of the city centre (published July 2003 - the central area regeneration scheme is now on the ground)

* Planning Urban Greenspaces - working 1987 to 2006 as part of a European Network of Researchers on the identification of effective planning tools to support ecologically sound urban development. Most recently as a member of the european research team on Green Structure and Urban Design. Research group drawn from 13 countries and funded by the EU (2000 - 2004) European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research - (COST) Action C11. This group has met in nine differnt countries over the past 5 years. ARB made and ran the website. The COST C11 project was directly linked to another EU funded research group which is investigating : the communication of ideas about Greenspace between the users and the various professions involved.

This ongoing long term research evolved from work done in Sheffield University Landscape Department in the 1970s on the development and testing of a methodology which used Urban Structure Zones as the local level units for a GIS - recording social, economic as well as environmental and greenspace data for each Zone. This approach allows an analysis of the wide range of environmental attributes involved in forming and supporting sustainable urban environments. This led to development of techniques appropriate to the encouragement of Local Agenda 21 initiatives during the 1990s and 2000s. Stocksbridge was a case study

Past research and practice related to Urban Sustainability

Research and practice in the areas of urban environmental planning led to the decision to publish all my information online after I retired. The following is freely available on:

Planning for Children's Play with special reference to Housing Areas (1976-78) and (1989-90) New edition of planning for play - online (2003)

Designing the External areas of Housing estates to support user needs (1979-1985)

Greenspace planning as a means of improving environmental quality of urban areas (1981-1986)
Planning external environments for children within residential environments (1972- 1992)

The book Environmnetal Planning for Site Development was written as a primer for those entering the professions concerned with the urban environment - it indicates how knowledge about the natural and physical world links to human requirements as we develop new settlements as sustainably as possible. I deals with: Environmental planning and design as a means of ensuring effective environmental protection and sustainability in urban areas

As a result of this experience I was involved in advising on preliminary ideas for the regeneration of Overvecht (a 1960s high rise District of Utrecht, NL - an area of 680 hectares housing 30,000 people. Built 1965-1970 this area of mixed mainly high-rise slab blocks needs massive investment in its greenspace to bring them up to present day environmental and sustainability standards. I attempted to identify what might be effective approaches to the re-design and management of local greenspaces over the coming decade so that they better supported local user needs (40% immigrant popn.), the need to enhance biodiversity and financial limiations (study period 2000-2002)

Research Grants and Commissions

In the past research funding came from: the SSRC (1978-80), the Leverhulme Trust (1984), The Gulbenkian Foundation (1991) and the Countryside Commission (1994) as well as various University Funds.
Research into urban environmental planning issues were commissioned by: Sheffield Hallam University (1997-1999), Stocksbridge Training and Enterprise Partnership (1999), Development Trusts Association - Yorks & Humberside (2000-present), Sheffield University (2001) , Utrecht City Council (2001 and 2003), Steel Valley Project (2003-5).

Some publications related to green space planning and other urban greenspace issues



Greenspaces, Green Structure and Green Infrastructure Planning in Urban Ecosystem Ecology, Jacqueline Aitkenhead-Peterson and Astrid Volder, ed.,ASA, CSSA, SSSA. Agron Monogr. 55, p 432-448

A.van den Berg, P.Schildwach

2006 Leefkwaliteit voor het stationsgebied in Utrecht, Groen, Juni 2006, p24-29 (Summary of the study of livability undertaken for the area around the Station in Utrecht)

A.R.Beer and A. Jorgensen


New approaches in Europe, Decent Homes, Decent Places, Improving the greenspaces for social housing, Peobody trust, 2004, p14-16

A.R.Beer and A. Jorgensen


Greening Social Housing - the European prespective,Green Places, No.1, Dec. 2003, p19

A.R.Beer, T. Delshammar, P.Schildwacht

A changing understanding of the role of greenspace in high density housing and the need for urban greenstructure planning - a european perspective, Built Environment Vol 29 No 2 p132-143





The decline of the urban park in Britain: the impact of over twenty years of neglect on the quality of parks and greenspaces - in Danish journal -Stads & Havne ingenioeren May 2002 See web based version in english

A.R.Beer and P.A. Draper


Innovative solutions from Denmark and Sweden to the design, management and maintenance of urban greenspace &endash; with particular reference to high density housing areas and local public greenspace (working paper Dept. of Landscape, University of Sheffield background data for: DTLR project : Improving Parks, Play Areas and Greenspace, 2002) See web-based version)

Anne.R. Beer


Greenstructure Planning in Europe - aspects of developing an effective mechanism for the planning of urban greenspace, (working paper Dept. of Landscape, University of Sheffield background data for: DTLR project : Improving Parks, Play Areas and Greenspace, 2002)

A. R. Beer

second edition with Catherine Higgins


Environmental Planning for Site Development - a manual for sustainable local planning and design (Second edition), E&FN Spon - Taylor & Francis, London, 352pp.

This book deals extensively with issues relating to greenspaces in urban areas -and in particular people's involvement with their local greenspaces ( see pages 141 to 211). Translated into Chinese 2002

Anne R. Beer


Aspects of the link between urban nature and city planning in northern European Countries
( Workshop on the Flemish Long-Term Vision of Nature Conservation in Urban and Suburban areas - Brussels 7 Nov 2000)
english version

with Attwell K.


Ecological Sustainability and Urban Greenspace, Danish Building Research Institute, Hoersholm, Denmark, 98pp.

L.G Sheat and A .R. Beer


Giving pupils an effective voice in the design and use of their school grounds

A.R. Beer


Urban greenspace and sustainability, in Sustainable Urban Development: Research and experiments, ed H.van der Vecht et al, Delft University Press, p 69-88.


Landscape Planning and environmental sustainability, Town Planning Review, 64,4. v-xi.


Amenity Trees, a european comparison, Environmental Consultancy University of Sheffield, 21pp


Urban Design: the growing influence of environmental psychology, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 11, 359-371


Landscape planning for environmental protection in Kiemstedt H. ed., Beiträge zur räumlichen Planung, "The contribution of Landscape Planning to Environmental Protection" , Hannover University, 94-102.

with Gulinck H.


Bijdrage van de Universiteiten to de Groenvoorziening in Steden en Gemeenten, Groenkontakt 91/2 , Bruges.



Environmental Planning for Site Development, Spons - Chapman Hall, London, 304pp.


Per un nuova approccio alla pianificazione del verde in Gran Bretagna, Urbanistica N. 86, Marzo 87, Milan, 49-57.


Landscape Planning in Britain, Landscape Architecture and Landuse Planning 1987, American Society of Landscape Architects, Washington, 6-7.


Landscape Planning as an aid to Land Use Planning, recent developments in the Netherlands. in Willis K.G. ed , Contemporary Issues in Town Planning, Gower, 112-129

Some Webpage based publications related to sustainable urban greenspaces

written and designed in digital formats by Beer Anne R. (1995 to present)


i) Making-places in the urban environment, Social Aspects of Housing Area Design (2000)
Planning for Children's Play in Housing Areas, (online version of earlier reports-2003)
iii) Green structure planning (online version of findings of a european wide research group working on Green Sturucture Planning from 1989 to 2005



updated: 2012