Paul was a member of the School since its formation and was previously in the School for Advanced Urban Studies. He was Head of SPS from 2004-2007 until he left to take up a new post as Professor of Urban Management and Planning and Deputy Director of the Urban Research Program at Griffith University in Australia.
Paul trained and worked as a town planner in London in the 1970s before joining the University of Bristol to carry out research on the redevelopment of London’s docklands with a Linked Studentship from the SSRC. He remained at the School for Advanced Urban Studies, carrying out research on many aspects of urban policy including the effectiveness of inner city regeneration policy, living conditions in European cities, youth homelessness and community development.
He has conducted evaluation studies for national and local governments as well as major charities and developed a series of training events on the evaluation of complex community development programmes. Paul taught postgraduate courses on the theory and practice of policy making for many years and directed the MSc in Policy Research from its launch in 1999.
In Bristol, Paul was Chair of the Bristol Democracy Commission, a body charged with reviewing the political management structure of Bristol City Council and served on a number of its advisory committees. He was a Director & Trustee for many years of Support Against Racist Incidents (SARI), a leading local organisation supporting the victims of racial harassment and is a graduate of the Bristol Common Purpose Matrix Programme.
Now living on Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast hinterland, Paul is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Gold Coast City Council Bold Futures project and a member of the Growth Management Committee of the Urban Development Institute of Australia.
After many years as club captain of the Flying Sausers Football Club in Bristol, he has now retired from playing but offers constructive advice from the sideline to his son Joseph. He opens the batting for the Tamborine Mountain Bushrats Over 40s Cricket team.
Urban policy and politics, theory and practice of policy-making, public participation in policy-making. ethnographies of planning practice, adolescent urbanism, the implementation of climate change adaptation policies by local government.
Paul now convenes the Honours Program as part of the Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning at Griffith and teaches a new course for first year undergraduates on Understanding Australian Cities. He continues to run workshops for practitioners on the development and evaluation of effective community engagement
Burton, P. (2009) ‘Conceptual, theoretical and practical issues in measuring the benefits of public participation’ Evaluation, vol 15, no 3, forthcoming July
Burton, P. (2008) ‘The Urban Land Development Authority: what can we learn from the UK Urban Development corporations?’ Queensland Planner, vol 48, no 3, 11-12
Burton, P. (2006) ‘Modern policymaking: making policy research more significant, Policy Studies, vol 27 no3, pp 173-195
Burton, P., Goodlad, R. and Croft, J. (2006) ‘How would we know what works? Context and complexity in the evaluation of community involvement’ Evaluation vol 12 no 3, pp 294-312
Goodlad, R., Burton, P. and Croft, J. (2005) ‘Effectiveness at what? The processes and impact of community involvement in area-based initiatives, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, vol 23, pp 923-938
Burton, P., (2004) 'Power to the people? how to judge public participation', Local Economy, Vol 19, Number 3, pp193-198
Burton, P (2001) 'Wading Through the Swampy Lowlands: In Search of Firm Ground in the Understanding of Public Policy Making: A Review of Recent Theories of Policy Making' in Policy and Politics vol 29, no 2
Cameron, A., Harrison, H., Burton, P. and Marsh, A. (2001) Crossing the Housing and Care Divide, Bristol: The Policy Press