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Dr Andres Luque Ayala

Associate Professor

Associate Professor in the Department of Geography+44 (0) 191 33 41873


Academic Profile
  • 2010 - 2013: PhD Geography, Durham University.
  • 2003 - 2004: MSc City Design and Social Science, London School of Economics. 
  • 2001 - 2003: Masters in Environmental Management, Yale University.
  • 1994 - 1999: Political Scientist (5 year degree), Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.
  • 1993 - 1998: Anthropologist (5 year degree), Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.

Andrés is an urban geographer and infrastructures scholar, critically examining how city–nature relationships are conceptualised and reimagined in the urban Anthropocene, particularly by looking at the ways in which contemporary cities engage with climate and ecological emergencies. His most recent co-authored book, Urban Nature: New Directions for City Futures (Cambridge University Press, 2024), examines the use of nature-based solutions for urban problems and provides governance and community engagement guidelines for their application.

His research agenda over the past 10 years has centred on two debates at the crossroads of urban and environmental governance scholarship. First, an analysis of how cities and municipalities respond to the challenges of climate change. This is captured in his co-edited book Rethinking Urban Transitions: Politics in the Low Carbon City (Routledge, 2018). Second, an investigation into the social and political dimensions of urban infrastructures, particularly through a reading of infrastructures as the socio-technical means by which modes of urban governance are implemented. This has been captured in his co-authored edited collections Energy, Power and Protest on the Urban Grid: Geographies of the Electric City (Routledge, 2016) and Smart and Sustainable Cities? Pipedreams, Practicalities and Possibilities (Routledge, 2020). 

In addition, drawing on Science and Technology Studies, his work has pushed for a critical engagement with smart and digital cities—recognising the extent to which emerging urban technologies advance specific political and governance forms. Andres' work on smart/digital cities can be read in his co-authored book Urban Operating Systems: Producing the Computational City (MIT University Press, 2020) and his co-edited collection Smart Urbanism: Utopian Vision of False Dawn? (Routledge, 2016).

Andrés’ research cuts across global North and global South, with recent in-depth engagements with academic partners and community organizations in Latin America (particularly Brazil and Mexico), via projects funded by UKRI and the British Academy, amongst others. Prior to joining academia, he was employed in professional practice for over 12 years, most of it working alongside architects and engineers in sustainable masterplanning. His professional experience includes working as an urban designer and sustainability planner for the London-based engineering firms Ove Arup & Partners and Alan Baxter and Associates, integrating and coordinating the work of architects and engineers designing and masterplanning eco-cities and other sustainable settlements in China, the UK and Latin America. Whist working at Arup, he was instrumental in developing the specific conceptualization of urban resilience used by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities programme. Previously he worked with indigenous groups, government agencies and NGOs in the development of community based conservation areas in the Amazon.

Research Projects
  • Smart Urban Resilience: Enabling Citizen Action in Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response (Principal Investigator; ESRC/CONACYT Mexico, 2019-2021).
  • INCLUsive Decarbonisation and Energy Transition (Co-Investigator, Research Council of Norway, 2020-ongoing).
  • Naturvation: Nature Based Urban Innovation (Work Package Leader, EU Horizon 2020, 2016-2021).
  • Public Understanding of Energy and Climate Change (Co-Applicant, FAPESP, Brazil, 2018).
  • Hacking the Urban Environment: Smart Cities and the Role of Civic Hackers in Remaking the City (Co-Principal Investigator, British Academy, 2018-2020).
  • Augmented Urbanity: How Smart are Our Cities Becoming? (Principal Investigator, RCUK-CONFAP Brazil, 2015-2016).
Teaching and Tutoring
  • Teaching (sample of modules)
    • Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (Risk Masters)
    • Understanding Risk (Risk Masters)
    • Cities and the Governance of Climate Change
    • Urban Geography
    • Environmental Processes and Governance / Contested Environments
    • Introduction to Geographical Research
    • Theory and Concepts in Human Geography
    • Philosophy and Theory in Human Geography


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Edited book

Journal Article

Other (Print)

Supervision students