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  2. Dr Colin Lorne

Dr Colin Lorne

Profile summary

Professional biography

I took up my position as Lecturer in Geography at the Open University in January 2020. Before joining the OU, I worked at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine as a Research Fellow on Department of Health and Social Care-funded research into regions, integrated care and the NHS. Prior to that, I was based as a Research Fellow at the University of Manchester researching Health and Social Care Devolution in Greater Manchester for a project co-funded by the Health Foundation and NIHR. I worked as a Policy Officer at the Academy of Social Sciences, with the University of Bristol/DCLG organising an ESRC Seminar Series on Ways of Neighbourhood Working and Knowing and as a Research Associate on Localism and Connected Neighbourhood Planning at the University of Birmingham. I completed my Geography PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2015.

Research interests

Although I don't like to pin these things down too much, broadly speaking, my research sits between urban, social and political geography. Much of my recent research has related to what might be termed the spatial politics of health and care, spanning devolution, policy mobilities and the links between place, health and economy. I have published within and beyond the discipline with a long-standing commitment to exploring the tensions and contradictions between relational/territorial space and the political/policy implications.I also have a long-standing interest in the geographies of architecture and the built environment. A full list of publications - all available open access - can be found in the publications list below.

My research is broadly comprised of three themes:

  • Spatial politics of health policy and National Health Service reform
  • Devolution, city-regions and urban transformation
  • Austerity localism and the changing urban spaces of work, public services and social innovation

I have always been intrigued by creative and experimental research methods, from harnessing digital visual technologies in teaching fieldwork through to 'follow the policy' ethnographies.

Teaching interests

Teaching at the OU is unlike anywhere I've worked previously. I am fortunate to be involved in teaching at Levels 1, 2 and 3 working closely with colleagues within and beyond geography. I am currently Block Lead as part of the module team working on D225 'Changing Geographies, Changing Britain'. In addition, I am part of the team involved in the production of D325 'Researching geographies of change: independent project in geography' as well as presentation on DD102 'Introducing the Social Sciences'.


Struggling with the state I am in: Researching policy failures and the English National Health Service (2021-02)
Lorne, Colin
Emotion, Space and Society, 38, Article 100746

Assembling the Healthopolis: Competitive city‐regionalism and policy boosterism pushing Greater Manchester further, faster (2021)
Lorne, Colin; Coleman, Anna; McDonald, Ruth and Walshe, Kieran
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers ((Early Access))

The limits to openness: Co-working, design and social innovation in the neoliberal city (2020-06-01)
Lorne, Colin
Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 52(4) (pp. 747-765)

Regional assemblage and the spatial reorganisation of health and care: the case of devolution in Greater Manchester, England (2019-09-21)
Lorne, Colin; McDonald, Ruth; Walsh, Kieran and Coleman, Anna
Sociology of Health & Illness, 41(7) (pp. 1236-1250)

Designing for Imprisonment: Architectural Ethics and Prison Design (2019-03)
Moran, Dominique; Jewkes, Yvonne and Lorne, Colin
Architecture Philosophy, 4(1) (pp. 67-81)

Brexit, Race and Migration (2019-02-01)
Burrell, Kathy; Hopkins, Peter; Isakjee, Arshad; Lorne, Colin; Nagel, Caroline; Finlay, Robin; Nayak, Anoop; Benwell, Matthew C; Pande, Raksha; Richardson, Michael; Botterill, Katherine and Rogaly, Ben
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 37(1) (pp. 3-40)

Instagram photography and the geography field course: snapshots from Berlin (2019)
Davies, Thom; Lorne, Colin and Sealey-Huggins, Leon
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 43(3) (pp. 362-383)

The spatial politics of place and health policy: Exploring Sustainability and Transformation Plans in the English NHS (2017-10)
Hammond, Jonathan; Lorne, Colin; Coleman, Anna; Allen, Pauline; Mays, Nicholas; Dam, Rinita; Mason, Thomas and Checkland, Kath
Social Science & Medicine, 190 (pp. 217-226)

Urban Landscapes and the Atmosphere of Place: Exploring Subjective Experience in the Study of Urban Form (2017)
Jones, Phil; Isakjee, Arshad; Jam, Chris; Lorne, Colin and Warren, Saskia
Urban Morphology, 21(1) (pp. 29-40)

Spatial agency and practising architecture beyond buildings (2017)
Lorne, Colin
Social & Cultural Geography, 18(2) (pp. 268-287)

Illusions of Utopia: When Prison Architects (Reluctantly) Play Tetris (2017-01)
Scheer, David and Lorne, Colin
In: Moran, Dominique and Schliehe, Anna eds. Carceral Spatiality: Dialogues between Geography and Criminology. Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology (pp. 113-134)
ISBN : 978-1-137-56057-5 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan

Using technology to help communities shout louder (2015-11-11)
Jones, Phil; Speed, Chris and Lorne, Colin
In: Richardson, Liz and Durose, Catherine eds. Designing Public Policy for Co-production: Theory, Practice and Change
ISBN : 9781447316954 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol

Localism, neighbourhood planning and community control: the MapLocal pilot
Jones, P.; Layard, A.; Lorne, C. and Speed, C.
In: O’Brien, D. and Matthews, P. eds. After Urban Regeneration: Communities, Policy and Place (pp. 165-179)
Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol, UK

Integrated Care Systems: What can current reforms learn from past research on regional co-ordination of health and care in England? A literature review (2019-11-11)
Lorne, Colin; Allen, Pauline; Checkland, Kath; Osipovic, Dorota; Sanderson, Marie; Hammond, Jonathan and Peckham, Stephen
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London.

Integrated Care Systems: What can current reforms learn from past research on regional co-ordination of health and care in England? A literature review ? Executive summary (2019-11-11)
Lorne, Colin; Allen, Pauline; Checkland, Kath; Osipovic, Dorota; Sanderson, Marie; Hammond, Jonathan and Peckham, Stephen
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, London.

Devolving health and social care: learning from Greater Manchester (2018)
Walshe, Kieran; Lorne, Colin; McDonald, Ruth; Coleman, Anna and Turner, Alex
University of Manchester, Manchester.