Dr Cathy Baldwin

Cathy Baldwin

Research Affiliate

Dr Cathy Baldwin (DPhil ISCA, 2012) is an Applied Anthropologist/Social Scientist and Public Health Researcher and Consultant. Her focus is the social, cultural, health and psychosocial aspects of climate resilience/adaptation, urban development, planning and infrastructure, energy production, and environmental management. She employs an interdisciplinary approach spanning anthropology, sociology, public health, social and environmental psychology, and social and behavioural epidemiology. Additional interests are Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and Monitoring and Evaluation of global health programmes, ethnic relations, sustainable development, media and ICTs, and music. Cathy is also a Visiting Researcher at the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment, Oxford Brookes University. She contributes to consultancies, Ben Cave Associates (health, spatial planning and sustainability) and LTS International (environment and development). From 2013-2014, she was a Research Fellow at the World Resources Institute (WRI), Washington DC, under the EMBARQ programme on Sustainable Transportation and Urban Development.

Cathy’s first book, Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What about the People? (co-authored with Dr Robin King, WRI) will be published by Routledge in 2018. It brings a behavioural social science perspective to the sustainability and resilience of urban communities by tying together ideas of 'social sustainability' and 'community resilience'. It examines how urban design and public involvement schemes for housing, public space and transport stops can influence pro-community behaviours and psychological responses that increase social capital and social cohesion in communities in 14 countries worldwide. These resources help people to improve their routine quality of life and well-being, and increase their adaptive capacity to respond effectively to the impacts of climate change in cities - by taking care of each other and their infrastructure after environmental adversities such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.

Current research (with Dr Patrick Rawstorne, UNSW Australia, and Dr Jamie Anderson, University of Manchester) involves piloting a new measure of community-level subjective mental well-being within the fields of social and behavioural epidemiology. Recent publications cover using health impact assessments (HIAs) to investigate the influence of urban design and regeneration on community social cohesion and subjective well-being; and assessing how development can change peoples’ relationships with their communities and built/natural environments with psychosocial effects. As a consultant, Cathy has worked on national-level HIAs and EIA, and SEIA (UK, Japan, Australia), and M&E of research on rare and emerging infectious diseases (pan-Africa).  

Cathy’s doctoral work at ISCA comprised a 2-year fieldwork study of Indian Sikh, Polish and English adults in Swindon, England, and a multi-level analysis of their perceptions of community, identities, sense of place and belonging at local-national-international/diasporic levels. Research also examined the impacts of information from media and life experience in shaping informants’ ideas. Fieldwork was carried out at a gurdwara, a Polish Community Centre, a national company, at civil society and leisure groups, and in private homes. Interview and observational data were combined with a quantitative survey, and a theoretical framework combining Social Anthropology, Sociology and Social Psychology.

Cathy was formerly a radio reporter at BBC World Service, and has advised NGOs on media issues, including Article 19, WaterAid, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization, and Refugee Council. She has a DPhil (PhD) Social and Cultural Anthropology and an M.Sc Visual Anthropology from the University of Oxford, and an MA Anthropology of Europe (with field in Reykjavik, Iceland) and BA Music and Media Studies from the University of Sussex. She is completing a Masters of Public Health at the University of New South Wales, Australia.


Baldwin, C and King, R (2018) Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What about the people? Oxford: Routledge.

Baldwin, C and King, R (2017) What about the people? The socially sustainable resilient community and urban development. Report.

Anderson, J and Baldwin, C (2016) ‘Building Wellbeing: Neighbourhood Flourishing and Approaches for Participatory Urban Design Intervention’, in R. Phillips, C. Wong (eds.), Handbook of Community Well-Being Research, International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life, Springer Publications. DOI 10.1007/978-94-024-0878-2_17

Baldwin, C (2015), ‘Assessing Impacts on People’s Relationships to Place and Community in Health Impact Assessment: An Anthropological Approach’, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal (IAPA), 33(2): 154-159.

Coulter, P and Baldwin, C (2013) ‘Digital Deprivation: New Media, Civil Society and Sustainability’ in Tragardh, L, Witoszek, N and Taylor, B (eds) Civil Society in the Age of Wikileaks: Challenges to Monitory Democracy. Berghahn Books.

Baldwin, C (2012) Locating Britishness? Mediating Identity, Ethnicity, Community and Place in Multi-Ethnic Swindon. D.Phil thesis, University of Oxford. 

Baldwin, C (2008) Employee Perceptions of the Company: [Company Name], Swindon. Swindon: Company Name.

Baldwin, C (2008) Broadcasting Britishness? Identity, Diversity and the National Media: Report with Recommendations. University of Oxford: Saïd Business School. 

Baldwin, C, Crofts, C, Thomsen, L and Vemuri, V (2007) Guest editors. Minding the Gap: Reflections on Media Practice & Theory, Special Edition of Networking KnowledgeJournal of the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Postgraduate Network: 1(1).