Job title: Research Fellow

Tel: +44 (0) 131 651 5829


Office address: The Fire Station, Room 2.13

Research outputs: Dr Sara Tilley on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Sara Tilley is a Research Fellow at the OPENspace research centre at Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA). 

Her research focuses on transport and mobility in urban settings. In particular, Sara is interested in exploring the links between mobility in the urban environment and health and wellbeing. She has expertise in using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. 

Her PhD in Ageing and Mobility at the University of St Andrews was funded by a CASE Studentship awarded by the ESRC in partnership with the MMM Group (formerly MRC McLean Hazel), a leading transport consultancy. Her performance led to further funding from the ESRC to undertake a Scottish Government internship and to a role as a Senior Researcher with the MMM Group in Edinburgh. She has also worked within the private sector, including for major firms, URS and Jacobs.

From 2015 - 2016 she was a member of an expert working group ‘A Square Go at Cities’, an initiative by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) to promote development of public realm and cultural infrastructure spaces in Scotland’s cities.

Just prior to joining OPENspace, she was awarded grants totalling £11,000 by the Design Council for Stages 1 and 2 of the Knee High Design Challenge, which seeks to improve the lives of children under five through design.

Sara has delivered seminars in quantitative and qualitative research methods to Masters in Landscape Architecture (MLA) and Landscape and Wellbeing (MSc) students in ESALA.

Dr Sara Tilley joined the OPENspace research centre at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) in January 2014, primarily to work on the three-year Lifelong Health and Wellbeing funded project, Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP). She was also Study Manager and Research Fellow on OPENspace’s NIHR-funded research into the effectiveness of the Forestry Commission Scotland woodland improvement programme, Woods In and Around Towns (WIAT) from 2015-2019. From January-August 2019 she was the Evaluation Lead for a Transport Scotland funded project, Making Connections (

Since summer 2019, she has been the User Research and Design Lead on the Festival Mobility project. This project is a collaboration between members of the Edinburgh Festivals Transport Forum, the University of Edinburgh’s Data Driven Innovation Programme (DDI), Edinburgh Living Lab and The List.

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