Human Geography Research Group

Town centre landscape busy with peopleThe Human Geography research group conducts theoretically and empirically informed research aimed at understanding how social practices and relations are conditioned by space and place.

Within the group we maintain an internationally-leading profile in four cross-cutting themes:

  • Critical urbanism: this interdisciplinary theme brings together research across socio-cultural geography, the work of CURS and physical geography/environmental science. The main strands relate to creative economy, regeneration, shrinking cities, urban climate, everyday life, urban governance, resilience, real estate finance and education. 
  • Justice and inequalities: broader questions around social and environmental justice cut across much of the work within the human geography group. The main strands relate to environmental justice, neurological and psychological citizen-subjectivities, carceral geographies, political economic transitions and issues of competitiveness, innovation and resilience arising from continuing economic turbulence.
  • Methodology: we are developing a wide spectrum of methodological approaches. These range from quantitative modelling, innovative visualisation, mixed methods combining quantitative and qualitative approaches, ethnography, walking interviews and the use of mobile technologies. 
  • Global south: our work goes beyond the global north to consider a range of socio-cultural and political questions in different regional contexts. This includes work on critical geopolitics in the Middle East, global megaevents, postcolonial discourses in art and literature and the emergence of hybrid approaches to urbanism that rework western models. 

The Human Geography research group has an excellent track record of grant capture across the UK’s Research Councils, the EU’s Framework Programmes, the Nuffield Foundation, the European Science Foundation, and a range of government bodies and charitable organisations from across the world. 

Colleagues have good external collaborations and have established an excellent public engagement profile. We strongly engage with policy, especially with regard to urban regeneration, imprisonment, renewable energy, fuel poverty and climate change mitigation strategies. 

Human Geography has six subgroups, bringing expertise together on particular topics:

  • big data
  • economic geography
  • adapting to energy and environmental uncertainties
  • spatial policy and governance
  • bodies, landscapes and materialities
  • geopolitics, transition and the carceral

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