Dr Harriet Shortt named as a 2024 Woman of Influence by The Planner

Media Relations Team, 28 March 2024

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Dr Harriet Shortt Associate Professor in Organisation Studies at UWE Bristol
Dr Harriet Shortt Associate Professor in Organisation Studies at UWE Bristol

UWE Bristol’s Dr Harriet Shortt has been named as one of 54 Women of Influence in 2024, by The Planner – the official magazine of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Nominated by the readers and assessed by a panel of judges including distinguished planners from across the UK, Harriet has been recognised for her pioneering work in developing innovative methods for inclusive and participatory engagement within the urban planning and placemaking process. 

As an active member of the Bristol Leadership and Change Centre (BLCC) at Bristol Business School, Harriet’s research has focused on bridging the gap between academia and industry practice. Her ground-breaking ‘Picturing Places’ project, shortlisted for a 2023 Planning Award, exemplifies this approach. Using visual arts-based methods, Harriet engaged local communities and stakeholders, translating their values and experiences into a series of key performance indicators to embed within a masterplan from conception through to implementation. 

Harriet’s research has explored vital issues like the design of workplaces for hybrid environments and how the creation of inclusive spaces can foster cultural change within organizations. She has collaborated with organisations such as Stride Treglown, ISG, Argent LLP, Aster Housing Group, and the RFU on supporting this type of organizational transformation through authentic public engagement. 

The BLCC and Bristol Business School have greatly benefited from Harriet’s dual roles as an academic researcher and industry practitioner. On external secondment as Head of Visual Engagement at BiBO Studio and as Associate Professor of Organisation Studies in UWE's Bristol Business School, she continually tests and implements her research findings within real-world planning and design projects. This integrated approach ensures her work generates tangible social impact.

In response to receiving this award Harriet said: “I’m delighted to have been listed in The Planner’s Women of Influence 2024 by those working in the placemaking industry. Not only is it great to be recognised for the work I’m doing, but I think this demonstrates how public engagement and knowledge exchange – where we as researchers working with industry and wider communities – can really add social value. It highlights the value of working at the nexus between academia and industry, and that impact beyond academia is fundamental to research success.”

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