Our specialisms

Research in the Department of Geography and Environment can be seen within the context of LSE's specialist nature and its commitment to research excellence across the social sciences.

Our research has a strong applied, policy relevant focus

Our research agenda is a distinctive one, predicated on applying an interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse social science approach to key geographical and environmental questions. Much of our research has an applied, policy relevant focus.

Research is organised around three main clusters of interest:

Recent articles


Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. (2017) Tall buildings and land values: height and construction cost elasticities in Chicago, 1870 – 2010. Review of Economics and Statistics. ISSN 0034-6535 (In Press)

Bradshaw S, Chant S and Linneker Brian (2017).
'Gender and poverty: what we know, don’t know, and need to know for Agenda 2030'. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, pp. 1-22

Emmerling J, Groom B and Wettingfeld T (2017). Discounting and the Representative Median Agent. Economics Letters. 161, pp. 78-81

Groom B and Hepburn C (2017). ‘Looking back at Social Discount Rates: The Influence of Papers, Presentations and Personalities on Policy’. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 11(2), pp 336–356.

Ascani, Andrea and Crescenzi, Riccardo and Iammarino, Simona (2017) The geography of foreign investments in the EU neighbourhood. Tijdschrift Voor Economische En Sociale Geografie, 108 (1). pp. 76-91. ISSN 0040-747X

Crescenzi, Riccardo and Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés (2017) The geography of innovation in China and India. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. ISSN 0309-1317 (In Press)2.

Frick, Susanne A. and Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés (2017) Big or small cities? On city size and economic growth. Growth and Change. ISSN 1468-2257 (In Press)

Lee, Neil and Brown, Ross (2017) Innovation, SMEs and the liability of distance: the demand and supply of bank funding in peripheral UK regions. Journal of Economic Geography, 17 (1). pp. 233-260. ISSN 1468-27024.

Paccoud, Antoine and Mace, Alan (2017) Tenure change in London’s suburbs: spreading gentrification or suburban upscaling? Urban Studies. ISSN 1742-1759 (In Press)

Phelps, N A. and Mace, Alan and Jodieri, R (2017) City of villages? Stasis and change in London's suburbs’. In: Phelps, Nicholas A., (ed.) Old Europe, New Suburbanization? Governance, Land, and Infrastructure in European Suburbanization. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada, pp. 183-206. ISBN 9781442626010

Czaika, Mathias and Neumayer, Eric (2017) Visa restrictions and economic globalisation. Applied Geography . ISSN 0143-6228 (In Press). 

Overman, Henry G. (2017) It’s not that London is too big, but that other large UK cities are too small. LSE Business Review (09 Jun 2017). Blog Entry.

Paccoud, Antoine (2017) Buy-to-let gentrification: extending social change through tenure shifts. Environment and Planning A, 49 (4). pp. 839-856. ISSN 0308-518X

Shin, Hyun Bang (2017) Envisioned by the state: entrepreneurial urbanism and the making of Songdo City, South Korea. In: Datta, Ayona and Shaban, Abdul, (eds.) Mega-Urbanization in the Global South: Fast Cities and New Urban Utopias of the Postcolonial State. Routledge studies in urbanism and the city. Routledge , Abingdon, UK , pp. 83-100. ISBN 97804157455125.

Shin, Hyun Bang (2017) Geography: rethinking the ‘urban’ and urbanization. In: Iossifova, D., Doll, C. and Gasparatos, A., (eds.) Defining the Urban: Interdisciplinary and Professional Perspectives. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9781472449528 (In Press)6.

Faggio, Giulia and Silva, Olmo and Strange, William C. (2017) Heterogeneous agglomeration. Review of Economics and Statistics, 99 (1). pp. 80-94. ISSN 0034-6535

Zeiderman, Austin (2017) Will the politics of threat carry over into post-conflict Colombia? LSE Latin America and Caribbean Blog (06 Feb 2017) Blog Entry.


Latest books

Anti-Gentrification-Book Cover

Anti-Gentrification: What is to be Done

Ed. Hyun Bang Shin (Dongnyok, 2017) 

In this volume, the editor brings together activists, artists, professionals and academics, who have been at the forefront of fighting gentrification in South Korea in recent years. Chapters visit key issues that are pertinent to the understanding of how gentrification unfolds in South Korea’s uneven geography, and what measures can be envisaged to fight gentrification at both micro and macro scales.

Robustness Tests for Quantitative Research

Robustness Tests for Quantitative Research

Eric Neumayer and Thomas Plümper (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

The uncertainty that researchers face in specifying their estimation model threatens the validity of their inferences. In regression analyses of observational data, the 'true model' remains unknown, and researchers face a choice between plausible alternative specifications. Robustness testing allows researchers to explore the stability of their main estimates to plausible variations in model specifications. This highly accessible book presents the logic of robustness testing, provides an operational definition of robustness that can be applied in all quantitative research, and introduces readers to diverse types of robustness tests.

art and the city

Art and the City

Ed. Jason Luger and Julie Ren (Routledge, 2017) 

This book presents a global perspective on the relationship between art and the city. International and leading scholars and artists themselves present critical theory and practice of contemporary art as a politicised force. It extends thinking on contemporary arts practices in the urban and political context of protest and social resilience and offers the prism of a ‘critical artscape’ in which to view the urgent interaction of arts and the urban politic. 

The Economics of Land Markets and their Regulation

The Economics of Land Markets and their Regulation

Ed. Paul Cheshire and Christian Hilber (Edward Elgar, 2017) 

This important volume brings together seminal papers investigating the framework upon which the economic analysis of land markets is based, stretching from the earliest insights of the founding fathers to current debates and research. Recent work on the process and implications of 'land value capitalisation' and land use regulation is well represented, for due to capitalisation, land is responsible for far more of the distribution of real incomes than is widely recognised.

Endangered City

Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá

Austin Zeiderman
(Duke University Press, 2016)

Security and risk have become central to how cities are planned, built, governed, and inhabited in the twenty-first century. In Endangered City, Austin Zeiderman focuses on this new political imperative to govern the present in anticipation of future harm. Through ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in Bogotá, Colombia, he examines how state actors work to protect the lives of poor and vulnerable citizens from a range of threats, including environmental hazards and urban violence.  


Cities, slums and gender in the global south: towards a feminised urban future

Sylvia Chant and Cathy Mcllwaine (Routledge, 2016)

Developing regions are set to account for the vast majority of future urban growth, and women and girls will become the majority inhabitants of these locations in the Global South. This is one of the first books to detail the challenges facing poorer segments of the female population who commonly reside in ‘slums’. It explores the variegated disadvantages of urban poverty and slum-dwelling from a gender perspective. This book revolves around conceptualisation of the ‘gender-urban-slum interface’ which explains key elements to understanding women’s experiences in slum environments.


Planetary Gentrification

Loretta Lees, Hyun Bang Shin and Ernesto López-Morales (Polity, 2016)

Rich with empirical detail, yet wide-ranging, Planetary Gentrification unhinges, unsettles and provincializes Western notions of urban development. It will be invaluable to students and scholars interested in the future of cities and the production of a truly global urban studies, and equally importantly to all those committed to social justice in cities.

Books by former PhD students

contested landscapes of poverty and homelessness in southern europe

Contested Landscapes of Poverty and Homelessness In Southern Europe

Vassilis Arapoglou (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

The book uses Athens as a case study to identify the key features of urban anti-poverty policies in Greece and to discuss them in relation to policy developments in the crisis-ridden countries of Southern Europe. The idea of contested landscapes shapes the focus of the book on urban poverty and homelessness. Contested landscapes refer to the complex dynamics between visible and invisible poverty and to competing strategies on how to address them. The book takes a path-dependent view on the development of post-welfare arrangements, devolution, and pluralism that are being shaped by both neoliberal mentality, solidarity and communitarian practices. 

frontier road

Frontier Road: Power, History, and the Everyday State in the Colombian Amazon 

Simón Uribe (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017) 

Frontier Road uses the history of one road in southern Colombia known locally as the trampoline of death to demonstrate how state–building processes and practices have depended on the production and maintenance of frontiers as inclusive–exclusive zones, often through violent means.

Dystopia's Prov

Dystopia's Provocateurs: Peasants, State, and Informality in the Polish-German Borderlands

Edyta Materka (Indiana University Press, 2017) 

Toward the end of the Second World War, Poland's annexation of eastern German lands precipitated one of the largest demographic upheavals in European history. Edyta Materka travels to to her native village in these "Recovered Territories", where she listens carefully to rich oral histories told by original postwar Slavic settlers and remaining ethnic Germans who witnessed the metamorphosis of eastern Germany into western Poland.

Race edu

Race, Education, and Citizenship: Mobile Malaysians, British Colonial Legacies, and a Culture of Migration

Sin Yee Koh (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) 

Transnational skilled migrants are often thought of as privileged migrants with flexible citizenship. This book challenges this assumption by examining the diverse migration trajectories, experiences and dilemmas faced by tertiary-educated mobile Malaysian migrants through a postcolonial lens. It argues that mobile Malaysians’ culture of migration can be understood as an outcome and consequence of British colonial legacies – of race, education, and citizenship – inherited and exacerbated by the post-colonial Malaysian state.


Economics of Planning Policies in China: Infrastructure, Location and Cities

Wen-jie Wu (Taylor & Francis, 2016)

Economics of Planning Policies in China looks at the role that the institutional characteristics of the Chinese planning system and market mechanisms play in transforming and shaping the infrastructure, location and cities with the potential for spatial disparity and inclusive growth. The planning and geographical perspective and evidence make this book a reference for international scholars, policymakers and graduates.

Gender, Poverty and Development S Chant

Gender, Poverty and Development

Ed. Sylvia Chant and Gwendolyn Beetham 
(Routledge, 2015)

Published on the eve of the release of the United Nations’ Post-2015 Development Agenda, this four-volume collection traces gender scholars’ contributions to development policy, research and practice, highlighting the critical interventions that these efforts made along the way.  


Managing the Transition: Renewable Energy and Innovation Policies in the UAE and Algeria

Dennis Kumetat (Routledge, 2014)

This book discusses renewable energy policy in oil and gas-wealthy Arab states and presents the reader with a well-informed overview of the national energy systems – both conventional and renewable. It also seeks to answer questions on the poor growth prospects by contextualizing the various national renewable energy production efforts in the other energy sectors, national and international power politics and energy markets.


Urban Economics and Urban Policy: Challenging Conventional Policy Wisdom

Paul Cheshire, Max Nathan and Henry Overman (Elgar, 2014)

In this bold, exciting and readable volume, Paul Cheshire, Max Nathan and Henry Overman illustrate the insights that recent economic research brings to our understanding of cities, and the lessons for urban policy-making. The authors present new evidence on the fundamental importance of cities to economic wellbeing and to the enrichment of our lives. They also argue that many policies have been trying to push water uphill and have done little to achieve their stated aims; or, worse, have had unintended and counterproductive consequences. 

gender development and disasters

Gender, Development and Disasters

Sarah Bradshaw (Edward Elgar, 2013)

The need to ‘disaster proof’ development is increasingly recognised as is the need to engender both development and disaster response. This is the first book to explore what these processes mean for development and disasters in practice.  Through consideration of processes to engender development it problematises women’s inclusion in disaster response and reconstruction. It highlights that while women are now central to both disaster response and development, tackling gender inequality is not. By critically reflecting on gendered disaster response and the gendered impact of disasters on processes of development, it exposes some important lessons for future policy. 

translocal geographies

Translocal Geographies: Spaces, Places, Connections

Ed. Katherine Brickell and Ayona Datta

Bringing together a wide range of original empirical research from locations and interconnected geographical contexts from Europe, Australasia, Asia, Africa, Central and Latin America, this book sets out a different agenda for mobility - one which emphasises the enduring connectedness between, and embeddedness within, places during and after the experience of mobility. These issues are examined through the themes of home and family, neighbourhoods and city spaces and allow the reader to engage with migrants' diverse practices which are specifically local, yet spatially global.

non-governmental organizations and development

Non-Governmental Organizations and Development

David Lewis and Nazneen Kanji  (Routledge, 2009)

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are high profile actors in the field of international development, both as providers of services to vulnerable individuals and communities and as campaigning policy advocates. This book provides a critical introduction to the wide-ranging topic of NGOs and development. It highlights the importance of NGOs in development, but it also engages fully with the criticisms that the increased profile of NGOs in development now attracts.

women of a lesser cost

Women of a Lesser Cost: Female Labour, Foreign Exchange and Philippine Development 

Sylvia Chant and Cathy McIlwaine (London: Pluto, 1995)

This book explores the links among women's employment, migration and household organisation. Female labour-force participation has long been recognised as depending on a broad spectrum of social, economic and demographic factors. Drawing on over 400 interviews with workers, households, and employers in the Philippine Visayas, this book provides insights for theories about women's work, with a focus on implications for gender roles and relations. Looking at three activities critical to the generation of foreign exchange - export manufacturing, international tourism, and sex work - it provides a systematic investigation of the ways in which women's incorporation into different sectors is affected by their social, demographic and economic circumstances, asking whether different jobs are associated with new migration and household patterns.

natural resources allocation economics and policy

Natural Resources: Allocation, Economics and Policy

Judith Rees (Routledge, 1990)

An interdisciplinary study of both renewable and non-renewable global resources. The author analyzes the spatial distribution of resource availability, development and consumption and the distribution of resource-generated wealth.


Research centres

Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy

Aiming to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research into economics and policy, the CCCEP is jointly hosted by LSE and the University of Leeds.

Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

LSE's Grantham Research Institute is a world-leading centre for policy-relevant research, teaching and training in climate change and the environment.

LSE London

LSE London is the London School of Economics' specialist research centre focusing on analyses of London's economy and broader metropolitan issues in a comparative context. The centre has a strong international reputation particularly in the fields of labour markets, social and demographic change, housing, finance and governance, and is the leading academic centre for analyses of city-wide developments in London. It is an interdisciplinary group involving staff from a number of departments who have particular expertise in economics, geography, government and planning.

Spatial Economics Research Centre

The Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC) connects policy-makers with international expertise, providing high quality, independent research to further understanding of disparities in economic prosperity at all spatial levels.

What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth

For policymakers, understanding, assessing and making use of evidence is no easy task. The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth (WWG) helps decision-makers make better use of evidence on local economic growth, and work with local partners to design more effective local economic policies.

Visiting fellows

We host a limited number of Visiting Fellows working in an area of particular interest to the Department or from an institution with which the Department has close links. These positions are non-contractual and unremunerated.


Visiting Fellows may start at any time during the year, subject to agreement between each individual fellow and the Department.


The duration can be from one month to one year and can be renewed up to three years in total.


Applicants will be of post-doctoral status or equivalent. The scheme is not open to PhD students, for whom the Visiting Research Students scheme is more appropriate.


At present, applications can only be considered from those who already have (or expect to have) adequate financial support. The Department does not provide Visiting Fellows with a research allowance.

Email and desk space

The Fellow will have access to the LSE Library and will be given a temporary LSE email address. We regret that we are not normally able to provide visiting fellows with desk space within the Department.


The School is not able to make any arrangements for living accommodation or travel. The accommodation for staff website, however, provides useful guidance on finding private rented housing.

How to apply

Applicants first need to identify an academic staff member of the Department as a potential host and contact them directly giving a brief outline of their research interests and enclosing their curriculum vitae. If the member of staff agrees to act as host, a form will be completed and nominations will be sent to the LSE Academic Research Committee which meets at various dates throughout the year.

Successful applicants will then liaise directly with the Department to confirm their start dates and any other details.


Please direct any enquiries about the visiting fellows scheme to an appropriate academic in the Department.

Research projects

Metropolitan Green Belt

This HEIF5 project has drawn together academic and practice views on the purpose of the Metropolitan Green Belt. The project promotes constructive debate on the purpose and future form of the Metropolitan Green Belt in the context of contemporary housing need and urban development planning in the region. It also asks how, in an era of localism, collaboration can effectively be pursued between different scales and authorities when reviewing the Metropolitan Green Belt. Read the report.

Seminar series 

Research seminars in Geography take place at LSE throughout term time. They are regularly led by PhD students in the Department as well as playing host to external speakers. We have 4 seminar series: