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Urban Worlds

The urban geographical research in the department aims to understand the ways in which urban worlds are produced, governed, contested and transformed. We are interested in contemporary and historical urbanism(s), including the techniques through which cities are governed, the domains through which urban life is lived and reformulated, and the prospects of different forms of urban justices.

A key question for us is how to conceptualise and research the changing relations between urbanism and space. For example, this could consider the everyday life of neighbourhoods and street politics, the (re)making of and maintaining of existing and new socio-technical and ecological infrastructures, or the politics of encounters.

We ask how we might understand urban spatio-temporalities and seek to excavate the different ways in which we might think of the world as becoming urban. We ask how a diversity of urban experiences and theoretical histories pluralise the ways in which we understand and research urban worlds.


Cluster Members

Name Position Research Interests
Professor Ben Anderson Professor Theories of affect and emotion; affective politics; neoliberalism and populism; events; futures; non-representational theories
Professor Harriet Bulkeley Professor Environmental governance; climate change; urban infrastructure; urban sustainability; nature and biodiversity; energy transitions; socio-technical systems; sustainable finance; urban political ecology; governmentality 
Professor Mike Crang Professor  Cultural geography; memory; identity; heritage; tourism; waste and the borders of commodification
Dr Jonathan Darling Associate Professor Asylum; refugees; political geography; migration; borders; urban politics
Dr Meghan Kelly Assistant Professor Feminist mapping, Critical GIS, cartography, feminist digital geographies, visual storytelling, design justice
Dr Sarah Knuth Associate Professor Political and cultural economy; political ecology; green economy; energy and climate justice; urban built environments and infrastructure; financial geographies; technology and industrial policy; fiscal politics and the state; value and devaluation
Dr Karen Lai Associate Professor Finance, financial centres, fintech, global cities, political economy, cultural economy, knowledge, producer services, advanced business services, Asia 
Dr Noam Leshem Associate Professor Political geography; war & violent conflict; displacement; creative practice; political theory; testimony and witnessing; cultural history; settler colonial & decolonial geographies;
Dr Andrés Luque-Ayala Associate Professor Urban geography; infrastructure; computational cities; digital geographies; Latin America; postcolonial and decolonial theory; digital natures; anthropocene;
Professor Colin McFarlane Professor Cities; urban politics; urban theory; poverty and inequality; infrastructure; density; urban knowledge
Dr Marijn Nieuwenhuis Assistant Professor Elemental geographies; creative methods; Chinese geographies; poetics; arts; breathing; weathers; political geographies; phenomenologies
Professor Joe Painter Professor Political geography; state theory; citizenship; urban and regional politics and governance; theories of territory; social innovation; localism, local governance and community action; politics of everyday life; art, creativity and urban politics;
Professor Marcus Power Professor Development; geopolitics; energy; infrastructure; visual geographies and methodologies; China-Africa; decolonisation; subaltern geographies; decolonial and postcolonial theory
Dr Helen F. Wilson Associate Professor Encounter; encounterable life; difference; cities; urban politics; multiculture; avian geographies; conflict management; postcolonial theory; environmental humanities