Joanne Oldfield

Dr Joanne Oldfield BA Hons PGDip MA MRTPI AIEMA

Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning


I studied Geography at the University of Hull before completing an MA in Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield in 2007. Following my return to academia I completed a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning at Sheffield in 2017.

As a fully chartered planner with over fifteen years’ experience I joined Sheffield Hallam University in 2021 where I lead on a number of modules, utilising my previous residential, commercial and academic based experience.

As an AIEMA accredited EIA project manager I also previously led Carter Jonas’ UK wide Environmental Impact Assessment group. 


I joined Sheffield Hallam University in 2021 from Carter Jonas having previously worked for Savills and Indigo Planning. Before this I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield, exploring the application of sustainable development via the complex regeneration of the former Orgreave colliery site at Waverley. In particular my PhD research examined “The performance and reperformance of sustainability: an actor-network theory informed analysis tracing the performance of sustainability during the implementation of a new low carbon settlement”.

My experience and interest spans applied planning practice, academic research, qualitative research methods including in-depth interviews and actor-network theory, policy analysis and case study exposés, strategic planning, environmental impact assessments, critical evaluation of sustainability, stakeholder engagement, public participation, rural estate strategies and the commercial management of large-scale planning applications. 


Department of the Natural and Built Environment

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Subject area

Geography Environment and Planning 

Courses taught

BSc Geography
MSc Urban Planning
MSc (DA) Urban Planning
MSc Environmental Management

Modules taught

I currently teach across the department's undergraduate and postgraduate courses including:

Module Leadership
Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Systems (Level 6)
Environmental Management Systems (Level 7)
Planning Theory and Context (Level 7)
Housing Planning and Development (Level 7)
Advanced Professional Practice (Level 7)
Applied Research Project (Level 7)

Module Teaching Team
Sustainable Master Planning
Sustainable Urban Design
Applied Research Methods
Advanced Valuation and Development 


Current research projects

Oldfield, J 2022. Considering the evolving performance of sustainability across a potentially standardised and digitally administered planning practice. In: UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference, September 5 - 7, 2022, University of Manchester

Oldfield, J 2017. The Performance and Reperformance of Sustainability. PhD Thesis. July 2017, University of Sheffield
Oldfield, J. 2014. Sustainable development – application in practice In: Geographies of Co-Production, August 26 – 29, 2014, Imperial College London, London.

Oldfield, J. 2014. Dismissing the detail: setting and achieving manageable research goals. In: From Control to Evolution, July 5 – 8, 2014, Delft University of Technology, Utrecht.

Oldfield, J. 2013. Framing sustainability – interpretations and influence. In: Planning for Resilient Cities and Regions, July 15 – 19, 2013, University College Dublin, Dublin.

Other activities

2021 to present - Regional Committee Member - RTPI Yorkshire 
2016 to 2018 - Committee Member and Student Award Coordinator - Women in Property
2010 to present - Urban Studies & Planning Alumni Lead - University of Sheffield


Postgraduate supervision

My current research interests explore applied sustainability narratives and I welcome enquiries from students who are also interested in:

* challenging growth dependant planning narratives
* the framing of sustainability
* actor network theory
* planning and neurodiversity
* policy evaluation
* exploring narratives (including trust, power and knowledge etc) across planning practice
* planning for housing 
* exploring the evolving nature of Environmental Impact Assessments. 


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