Dr Parham works as the University's Head of Urbanism at the Centre for Sustainable Communities, and has particular research interests in the urbanism of Garden Cities and New Towns, as well as in food and spatial design, and urbanism, sprawl and transport oriented compact cities. Dr Parham also has 'process' expertise in engagement on planning and design issues. At the CSC Dr Parham runs research and partnership projects, helps supervise PhD students, and teaches on Masters level sustainable planning programmes and short courses including in relation to urban design, and community engagement in the planning system. Dr Parham also manages consultancy projects in a range of urbanism areas. She runs the University's three year Sustainable Living Partnership with Lafarge Tarmac which is generating significant comparative primary research into sustainable placemaking.
Dr Parham's recent research and teaching has focused in on Garden Cities and New Towns' urbanism and placemaking, along with work on 'retrofitting' urban sprawl. Dr Parham has been exploring the design and planning connections between food and cities since the early 1990s and is completing a book for Berg entitled Food and Urbanism, delving into the interplay between food and place from the scale of the table to the region, while her recent book Market Place: Food Quarters, Design and Urban Renewal in London reports on primary research into food-centred regeneration processes that are transforming physical spaces and social practices in moribund market areas in contemporary London.
Dr Parham holds undergraduate and post graduate qualifications in political economy, town planning, urban design and urban sociology, with a PhD from the London School of Economics’ Cities Programme.