Since May 2012 Joanne Leach has been a researcher on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council- (EPSRC-) funded programme grant Liveable Cities, which aims to create an holistic, integrated, truly multi-disciplinary city analysis methodology, which uniquely integrates wellbeing indicators, is founded on an evidence base of trials of radical interventions in cities, and delivers realistic and radical engineering solutions. In June 2016, Joanne started to split her time between Liveable Cities and the Urban Living Birmingham pilot project. The Urban Living Birmingham project was awarded in May 2016 following a successful bid to the Urban Living Partnership call for pilot projects. It runs for 18 months. The project is identifying improvements to urban services by combining top-down urban governance with bottom-up lay and expert knowledge to provide an environment that emphasises and encourages innovations that generate a step change in urban service provision.
Prior to Liveable Cities, Joanne worked as a project manager on multi-disciplinary research projects in the field of sustainable urban environments. These included VivaCity2020 and Designing Resilient Cities.
Joanne’s research interests are varied, but have a common focus: sustainable cities. These include understanding and assessing urban sustainability and liveability, futures thinking and designing for future resilience, crime and fear of crime and soundscapes. She is particularly interested in how to facilitate the decision-making processes of local authorities to ensure future resilience along a path of increasing sustainability and liveability.