Prof Georgia Butina Watson

Professor in Urban Design
Director of Research - JCUD, Director of OISD: UDG
Research Tutor in Urban Design


Georgia is Professor in Urban Design and Research Tutor in the Joint Centre for Urban Design. Her professional expertise lies in the area of urban morphology, urban regeneration and in developing approaches to involve local community groups in the improvement of local urban areas. She has wide experience in conducting, managing and successfully completing research and consultancy projects. She is experienced in developing qualitative and quantitative research methods and has handled large data sets. She is also experienced in gaming, simulation and negotiation techniques. She was involved in setting up a database system for recording and analysing vacant and under-used land and has carried out a large number of structured and semi-structured interviews. She was a project co-ordinator of the DoE sponsored study on 'Quality in Town and Country' initiative.

Georgia is presently involved in several national & international research projects which range from issues of local and regional identity to the regeneration of run down housing estates and the improvement of historic city centre areas. She is Director of CABE's Built Environment Virtual Teaching Package Project and was a major contributor to CABE's digital library of urban design good practice. She has published articles in international journals and has contributed to and co-edited several book publications.

Teaching interests

Urban design and architectural history and theory; urban morphology; place making; local and regional identity; urban regeneration; urban gaming; public participation and community development; research methods; sustainable urban design.

Research interests and consultancy expertise

Urban design; urban regeneration; public consultation; eco-tourism; community developments; historic towns; place-identity; aesthetic control; urban design and public art; sustainable urban design.

Examples of recent projects

  • Re-Engineering the City: Retrofit 2050 (with T. Dixon and R. Ogden) - funded by EPSRC
  • UrbanBuzz: Rootscape - funded by HEFCE
  • Regeneration of Blackbird Leys, Oxford with Savills plc, Oxford City Council
  • Evidence review of Thames Gateway – funded by ODPM
  • Making better places – a virtual project for A level students – funded by CABE
  • Transferable lessons from the New Towns Programme – funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
  • Evaluation of Poundbury – funded by West Dorset District Council
  • Interdisciplinary teaching in the built environment – funded by HEFCE
  • Peer Review of the National Qatar Plan, Ministry of Qatar

Examples of recent publications and conference papers

Butina Watson, G (2011, in print) 'The Art of Placemaking', research chapter, in Krause, L(ed.) Urban Lost and Found, Rutgers University Press.

Butina Watson, G (2009) Young People and the Built Environment: can they shape our cities? Town and Planning Review, 80(3).

Butina Watson, G. & Bentley, I. (2007). Identity by Design. Architectural Press.

Butina Watson, G., de Schiller, S. & Bentley, I. (2007). Sustainable Urban Form: Environment and Climate Responsive Design. In: Zetter, R. & Butina Watson, G., (eds.) Sustainable Urban Design. London: Ashgate.

Zetter, R. & Butina Watson, G. (2007). Designing Sustainable Cities in the Developing World. Ashgate.

Dimitrovska Andrews, K. & Butina Watson, G. (2002). Urban design in a free market economy: the case of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Urban Design International, 6 (3-4).