Dr Phil Jones MA PhD

Dr Phil Jones

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Phil Jones - Research in 60 seconds videoDr Phil Jones is a cultural geographer who focuses on issues related to the city.  His work deals with a number of research areas including urban regeneration, cycling and the arts.  He has a particular interest in research methods, including qualitative GIS, mobile interviewing and arts-based approaches.


  • PhD University of Birmingham, 2003
  • MA University of Leicester, 1999
  • MA University of St Andrews, 1998


Phil grew up on the Wirral before moving to St Andrews in 1994 to undertake and MA in Modern History.  An MA in Urban History from the University of Leicester followed in 1999.  He moved to Birmingham to undertake a PhD in Geography in 2000 and has lived in the city ever since.  He has worked for the University of Birmingham since 2003 and has served in a number of different roles including leader for the Human Geography Research Theme and REF lead for Unit of Assessment 14.  He is now the GEES Head of Education and Research Development.


BA / BSc Geography

Dr Jones teaches around cities, culture, embodiment and architecture. He gets consistently high feedback scores from student evaluations and has a commitment to excellence and innovation in the delivery of teaching. 

Postgraduate supervision

Phil runs a 'Playful Methods' Lab bringing together the activity of his PhD students, visiting fellows and postdoctoral researchers. He is keen to supervise students with an interest in qualitative methods exploring topics such as: embodiment (particularly around walking and cycling); urban development and regeneration; cultural and arts activity.

Dr Jones welcomes formal and informal enquiries from prospective doctoral researchers in his areas of interest.


Phil is a cultural geographer whose work focuses on developing novel qualitative methods.  He runs the Playful Methods Lab and has developed techniques drawing upon virtual and augmented reality, videogames, qualitative GIS, biosensing, touchtables, smartphone apps, video and action research.  Much of his work is empirically embedded within cities and covers topics around embodiment (especially walking and cycling), art, creativity and urban regeneration. 


Recent publications


Jones, P 2020, Bodies, technologies and methods. Routledge Series on Digital Spaces, 1st edn, Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429203305

Jones, P, Perry, B & Long, P (eds) 2019, Cultural intermediaries connecting communities: revisiting approaches to cultural engagement. Policy Press, Bristol.


Moran, D, Jones, P, Jordaan, JA & Porter, A 2021, 'Does nature contact in prison improve wellbeing? Mapping land cover to identify the effect of greenspace on self-harm and violence in prisons in England and Wales', Annals of the American Association of Geographers, vol. 111, no. 6, pp. 1779-1795. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2020.1850232

Moran, D, Jones, P, Jordaan, JA & Porter, A 2021, 'Nature contact in the carceral workplace: greenspace and staff sickness absence in prisons in England and Wales', Environment and Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1177/00139165211014618

Jones, P, Andres, L, Denoon-Stevens, SP & Melgaco Silva Marques, L 2021, 'Planning out abjection? The role of the planning profession in post-apartheid South Africa', Planning Theory. https://doi.org/10.1177/14730952211012429

Jones, P & Osborne, T 2020, 'Analysing virtual landscapes using postmemory', Social and Cultural Geography, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 186-206. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2018.1474378

Van Loon, AF, Lester-Moseley, I, Rohse, M, Jones, P & Day, R 2020, 'Creative practice as a tool to build resilience to natural hazards in the Global South', Geoscience Communication, vol. 3.

Andres, L, Jones, P, Denoon-Stevens, S & Melgaco Silva Marques, L 2020, 'Negotiating polyvocal strategies: re-reading de Certeau through the lens of urban planning in South Africa', Urban Studies, vol. 57, no. 12, pp. 2440-2455. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019875423

Denoon-Stevens, S, Andres, L, Jones, P, Melgaco Silva Marques, L, Massey, R & Nel, V 2020, 'Theory versus practice in planning education: the view from South Africa', Planning, Practice and Research, pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/02697459.2020.1735158

Disney, T, Warwick, L, Ferguson, H, Leigh, J, Cooner, TS, Beddoe, L, Jones, P & Osborne, T 2019, '“Isn't it funny the children that are further away we don't think about as much?”: using GPS to explore the mobilities and geographies of social work and child protection practice', Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 100, pp. 39-49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.02.029

Warren, S & Jones, P 2018, 'Cultural policy, governance and urban diversity: resident perspectives from Birmingham, UK', Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, vol. 109, no. 1, pp. 22-35. https://doi.org/10.1111/tesg.12296

Osborne, T, Warner, E, Jones, P & Resch, B 2018, 'Performing social media: artistic approaches to analysing big data', GeoHumanities, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 282-294. https://doi.org/10.1080/2373566X.2018.1543552

Osborne, T & Jones, P 2017, 'Biosensing and geography: a mixed methods approach', Applied Geography, vol. 87, pp. 160-169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2017.08.006


Jones, P & Osborne, T 2021, Gaming and VR in geographical research. in N von Benzon, M Holton, C Wilkinson & S Wilkinson (eds), Creative methods for human geographers. 1 edn, SAGE Publications, London, pp. 285-296. <https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/creative-methods-for-human-geographers/book266074#description>

Osborne, T & Jones, P 2020, Virtual reality and memorials: (re)building and experiencing the past. in J Micieli-Voutsinas & P Angela (eds), Affective architecture: more than representational approaches to heritage. Routledge, London, pp. 252-266.

View all publications in research portal


Urban regeneration in the UK; art as a research method; innovative mapping techniques; high-rise social housing in the UK; impact of historical development on the built form of contemporary cities