Meredith  Whitten

Meredith Whitten

PhD candidate in Regional and Urban Planning

Department of Geography and Environment

About me

Meredith holds an MSc in Regional and Urban Planning from the LSE. She also earned a Master of Public Affairs with an emphasis on environmental policy from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, where her research focused on the relationship among public lands, endangered species and surface transportation policies. Additionally, Meredith has a Bachelor of Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin.

Before beginning her PhD research, Meredith had an 18-year professional career that spanned the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She has worked as a consultant for an economic development strategy firm, a policy analyst and advisor to the Texas State Legislature, a public affairs officer for the Texas Department of Transportation, a research assistant for the Urban Land Institute-Europe and a business writer for the Baton Rouge Business Report. She also worked as a policy analyst for The Wilderness Society, where she researched the effects of state and federal laws on federally designated wilderness areas. Meredith currently serves as the planning advisor to the Covent Garden Community Association, the recognized amenity group for the Central London conservation area, and serves as an appointed observer on the Greater London Authority’s Green Infrastructure Task Force.

At the LSE, Meredith teaches GY300, Theories of Regional Economic Development, as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, and she contributes to the LSE’s Sustainability blog. She also has written for Urban Vignettes, a collaborative visual-blog about how people engage with city life, and has been a finalist in the LSE Research Festival’s poster category. Meredith has presented her research at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, the Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual International Conference and the LSE’s Cities, Space & Development seminar. She holds a full Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCertHE) and is a fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

Urban planning and policy
Urban green space and urban parks
Green infrastructure and urban greening
Compact city and urban density
Privatisation of public space
Urban governance and urban change
Influence of values and priorities in decision making
Land and conservation ethics
Public lands and endangered species policy

Thesis Title:
The Changing Nature of Urban Green Space: How influences on green space delivery and management reflect urban change in London

Meredith’s research examines the delivery and management of urban green space within the push to increase Inner London’s housing supply through dense development. She looks at how decision makers reconcile inherent conflicts between the compact, dense city and the sustainable, green city, both of which are UK- and London-wide policy objectives. Meredith’s research – which focuses on the London boroughs of Islington, Tower Hamlets and Wandsworth – draws from in-depth interviews, document review, archival work and quantitative data analysis. The intent is to unravel how distinctively urban issues are interpreted at the local level to then shape the way that urban green space is provided. Ultimately, Meredith’s research illustrates how processes of urban change and challenges to institutional approaches to green-space planning are driving the extent to which urban green space remains an enduring part of life in 21st century London.

Academic supervisors

Nancy Holman
Alan Mace