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Geography and Environment

How to contact us

Department of

Geography & Environment

London School of Economics & Political Science

Houghton Street

London WC2A 2AE


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Undergraduate enquiries
John Spittles
+44 (0)20 7955 3636


Undergraduate Programmes Manager & Executive Assistant to Head of Department

Luigi Pisanelli



Graduate enquiries

Amanda Gaddes

+44 (0)20 7955 6061

(MSc Environment & Development; MSc Environmental Economics & Climate Change; MSc Environmental Policy & Regulation)


Mark Jenkin
+44 (0)20 7955 7496
(MSc Human Geography & Urban Studies Research; MSc Local Economic Development; MSc Urbanisation & Development)


Harriett Johnson

+44 (0)20 7955 7587
(MSc Real Estate Economics & Finance; MSc Regional & Urban Planning Studies; PhD programmes)


Communications and Events

Catherine Mitchell


+44 (0)20 7107 5406


Department Manager

Sam Colegate


A centre of international academic excellence in economic, urban and development geography, environmental social science and climate change.

Dr Riccardo Crescenzi

Riccardo Crescenzi wins the 2016 Talented Young Italians Award for outstanding contribution to Research and Innovation in the UK

Prof Crescenzi has won the 2016 Talented Young Italians Prize, awarded by the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK and the Italian Embassy in the UK. Eight awards were conferred in four categories, with Riccardo receiving the award for ‘Research and Innovation’, in recognition of his outstanding research accomplishments. The award aims "to bring to public attention the individuals who have succeeded in their endeavour in the UK, keeping at the same time a link with Italy and fostering the exchanges between the two countries.”

The awards ceremony took place on 10 November 2016 at Church House in Westminster, during an event organised by The Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK and the Italian Embassy in London under the patronage of H.E. Pasquale Terracciano, the Italian Ambassador in the UK. Read more.


Prof Gareth Jones at House of Lords reception

Gareth Jones attended a reception at the House of Lords hosted by the Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH and Lord Loomba of Moor Park CBE in celebration of the United Nations General Comment on Children in Street Situations. With an audience of NGO and business groups, Gareth was interviewed about the contribution of research to assist policy-making aimed at improving the lives of children. In collaboration with the University of Dundee and the International Consortium for Street Children, it is hoped that LSE can support an initiative to monitor the General Comment which aims to hold governments accountable across the world.

Michael Storper

Michael Storper contributes to European Commission/UN-HABITAT report 

Michael has contributed to chapter 3 of the report on 'The State of European Cities 2016'. His chapter notes a big division between high-income cities and middle-income cities. The latter face a "middle income trap" because they are more expensive than the low-income cities (for attracting basic economic activities) and yet they don't have the technology and skills endowments of the very high-income cities. In Europe this makes many of them candidates for potential stagnation.

The chapter also shows that cities are generally more productive and higher-income than their national economies. In the case of Europe's superstar cities, they are often much wealthier than their national economies as a whole. This leads to issues of uneven development parallel to the USA. Read the report.


Virtual issue on urban China released by top tier journal 

Hyun Bang Shin's article "Economic transition and speculative urbanisation in China: Gentrification versus dispossession", which was published in the Urban Studies journal in 2016, has been included in a Virtual Special Issue entitled "From an emerging market to a multifaceted urban society: Urban China studies" edited by Shenjing He and Junxi Qian. Read the full text.


Charlie Palmer at Workshop on Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation

Charlie was invited to give a presentation at the Workshop on Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation, organised by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, which was held in Montpellier on 15-16 November 2016. The talk was titled “Was Von Thünen Right? Cattle Intensification and Deforestation in Brazil”.


Spotlight on...Clare Barnes

LSE Fellow in Environment Dr Clare Barnes gives us her first impressions of LSE and tells us about her research on the governance of natural resources in the Global South. Read more.


50 years of RUPS

On Friday 28 October 2016 we celebrated the 50th year of the MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies. Over the programme’s history we have educated over 600 students from all around the world. Many students have gone on to make significant contributions in the fields of planning, architecture and academia. The reunion was an occasion to come together and celebrate the programme and the long-lasting friendships it has inspired. Read more.

Ben Groom

Ben Groom awarded UCSIA teaching chair

Dr Ben Groom has been awarded the UCSIA teaching chair between 22 and 24 November 2016. He will speak on 'Preferring the present or the future' at the University of Antwerp: read more. 


The Legacy of Peace: public lecture by Colombian President

On 2 November Prof Gareth Jones chaired an event at LSE with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, winner of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. The podcast of the event is now online.


Excellence in Education Award Winners

The teaching and education achievements of several of our staff were celebrated in a reception hosted by Prof Julia Black and Prof Paul Kelly on Wednesday 19 October 2016. The reception marked the award of the LSE’s inaugural Excellence in Education Awards as well as the 2016 Teaching Promotion Awards.

We are delighted that Prof Susana MouratoDr Nancy HolmanDr Olmo Silva and Dr Romola Sanyal all won Excellence in Education Awards, while Prof Christian Hilber and Prof Riccardo Crescenzi both won Teaching Promotion Awards.

Designed to support the School’s aspiration of creating ‘a culture where excellence in teaching is valued and rewarded on a level with excellence in research’ (LSE Strategy 2020), the LSE Excellence in Education Awards are made on the recommendations of Heads of Department to staff who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments.  In turn, the Teaching Promotion Awards are given to faculty who made a significant educational contribution to LSE, upon their promotion to Professor.

Simona Iammarino

Prof Simona Iammarino at Gran Sasso Science Institute event

Simona Iammarino gave a lecture on 'Multinational enterprises, innovation & geography: global impacts on local economic development'. Read more.


Dr Hyun Bang Shin at University of Toronto event

Hyun Bang Shin was the keynote speaker at an event at the University of Toronto entitled 'Speculative Urbanization in East Asia: People, Power, and Politics'. Read more.


Geography and Environment Autumn Newsletter

In this issue of the Department Newsletter we bring you student and staff news, new articles, new books and events. Next issue: winter 2016.

Past issues: Summer 2016 / Spring 2016.

Andrés Rodriguez-Pose

Strong government institutions more important than geography for economic development in the EU

A new study, co-authored by Prof Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, has found that strong government institutions are more influential for economic growth than geographic conditions. Read more.


Reassessing economic development policies for regions and cities

Simona IammarinoAndrés Rodríguez-Pose and Michael Storper took part in a major conference at LSE and have contributed to a report which will inform the next round of EU Cohesion Policy. The conference was jointly organised with the European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, and brought together academics and policymakers from Europe and North America to assess urban and regional economic development theory, evidence and policy. Read the report.

Simona, Andrés and Michael gave presentations on the report at the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels, 10-13 October 2016. See the photos.


LSE Report on Multinationals, Local Firms and Economic Development in the Lazio Region

Riccardo Crescenzi and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose were keynote speakers at the launch of the LSE Report on “Multinationals, Local Firms and Economic Development in the Lazio Region” promoted and organised by Lazio Innova and the Regional Government of Lazio in Italy. Event website.

Felipe Carozzi

First-time buyers priced out by the 'accidental landlord'

First-time buyers have been priced out of the ownership market by richer households who keep their starter homes for renting out when trading up, according to new research by Dr Felipe Carozzi. Read more.

Cheng Keat Tang

Home owners prepared to pay a premium for lower traffic congestion

London homeowners are prepared to pay a premium to live in inner city areas where the congestion zone applies, new research by doctoral candidate Cheng Keat Tang shows. Read more.


Prof David Jones celebrates 50 years

On 21 September 2016 staff were treated to a one-off talk by Prof David Jones, outlining the Department's varied history. We were also celebrating David's 50th year in the Department! See photos from the talk.


LSE research on EU funding may provide lessons for UK as it prepares to BREXIT

‘Top-down’ policies, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), can be a more effective way of channelling resources to the most deprived areas than interventions which rely on the direct action of local people, according to research from the Department of Geography and the Environment. Read more.


BIOECON conference, King's College, Cambridge

For the fourth year running, Dr Ben Groom (LSE) and Dr Andreas Kontoleon (Cambridge Land Economy) co-hosted the annual BIOECON conference on the economics of biodiversity conservation. It was the 18th BIOECON conference and was held in the majestic buildings of King's College, Cambridge, attended by around 150 delegates from academia, government, NGOs and the policy world at large. Read more.

Christine Whitehead

Prof Christine Whitehead wins Excellence in Planning Research award

The award is made by the Royal Town Planning Institute following peer review of the best of the year’s planning research. It has recognised high quality and policy relevance of the work on planning obligations led by Emeritus Professor Tony Crook, Prof John Henneberry of the University of Sheffield, and Prof Christine Whitehead, Professor Emeritus of Housing Economics at LSE. Read more.

International Handbook on Gender, Migration and Transnationalism

International Handbooks on Gender 

Three new volumes in the Edward Elgar series, for which Professor Sylvia Chant has served as Series Editor since 2011, have been published on the topics of Gender and Health, Gender in World Politics, and Gender and War. 

Sylvia is delighted to be in the position of helping to recruit and review these Handbooks, which should be of interest to scholars, policymakers and practitioners.  

She has also enjoyed designing some of the book covers in the series. The covers draw on the inspirational paintings of Suelle Nachif, African Living Art Centre, The Gambia, where Sylvia is conducting most of her field-based research. View the series.


Why relying on high-stakes exams is a bad idea for students and the economy

Dr Sefi Roth, Assistant Professor of Environmental Economics, says students exposed to high pollution during exams experienced “lasting damage to post-secondary educational attainment and earnings later in life”. Read more.


A 21st Century Metropolitan Green Belt

New report by academics in Geography & Environment explores the purpose of the Metropolitan Green Belt in the context of contemporary housing need and urban development planning in the region. Read the report.

Simona Iammarino

Simona Iammarino at Confindustria Bulgaria Conference

Simona Iammarino, Head of Department, was a guest of honour at the conference held in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she spoke about 'Multinational enterprises (MNEs), the EU regions and the EU Neighbourhood'. Visit the conference website / View Simona's presentation.

Teaching Excellence Awards 2016

Success at LSE Teaching Awards

Many of our Geography & Environment colleagues have won prizes at the LSE Teaching Awards 2016.

Well done to: Austin Zeiderman, Neil Lee, Sefi Roth, Riccardo Crescenzi, Christian Hilber, Joel Gill, John Wilkie, Julius Andersson, Emanuele Campiglio and Alex Jaax! Read more.

Sylvia Chant Fellowship

Sylvia Chant receives award as Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

Sylvia Chant, Professor of Development Geography, has received her award as Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. The Academy, which exists to promote social science in the United Kingdom for the public benefit, described Professor Chant as ‘a world-leading figure in international social science, helping to stake out the field of gender and development’. Read more.


Spotlight on...Austin Zeiderman

Assistant Professor of Urban Geography, Austin Zeiderman, on what he's working on over the summer and why the Department is his home from home.

Nancy Holman

Nancy Holman awarded LSE Learning Technology & Innovation grant

Congratulations to Nancy Holman, who has been awarded an IGNITE! Grant from LSE LTI to support a project on 'Developing professional skills – engagement, consultation and research in urban geography and planning'. Read more.


Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) honours Prof Michael Storper

Michael Storper, Professor of Economic Geography, is awarded this year’s Founder’s Medal for scholarship and leadership in human and economic geography. Read more.


Influencing the content of five landmark global development reports 

Department of Geography and Environment expertise on approaches to economic growth have influenced OECD, World Bank and European Commission publications. Featured academics from the department are Andrés Rodríguez-PoseHenry Overman and Michael StorperRead the impact case study.

© Sam Colegate

LSE Geography and Environment is top 5 in university tables

The LSE Department of Geography and Environment has been ranked 4th in the UK in the latest Guardian subject tables. This follows success in the QS World University rankings, which put the Department 4th internationally. The Department was also ranked 4th in the Complete University Guide 2017 subject tables. A range of measures contribute to the rankings, including student satisfaction, academic reputation and career prospects.

View the Guardian table / View the QS table / View the Complete University Guide table.

Copyright Juan Orrantia

VIDEO & AUDIO: Security, Risk, and the Urban Imagination

To mark the publication of Austin Zeiderman's new book, Endangered City, this event brings together an interdisciplinary panel of scholars to discuss the intersection of security, risk, and the urban imagination.

Watch / listen now.

Paul van Gardingen

VIDEO: Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation

How can ecosystem management in developing countries contribute to poverty alleviation, as well as to inclusive and sustainable growth? Giles Atkinson (LSE) is joined by Paul van Gardingen, UNESCO Chair of International Development at the University of Edinburgh and Director, Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme.

Watch now.

David Harvey at LSE

VIDEO: The Power of Ideas: a discussion with David Harvey

David Harvey's work on geography, social theory, urban political economy and capitalism has shaped academic debate for decades. He is one of the most cited social scientists in the world, and his works have been translated into multiple languages. Here, shortly before receiving an Honorary Degree from LSE, Harvey joins a panel of experts including Michael Storper (LSE) and Jane Wills (QMUL) to explore his ideas - and alternative views.


VIDEO: Can the ‘weight of evidence’ on impacts shape the future of international migration?

Migration has generally yielded economic benefits in terms of labour market outcomes, the fiscal position, innovation, trade and growth. However, concerns about a limited ‘absorptive capacity’ of host societies are growing. Jacques Poot is joined by Jonathan Wadsworth and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose to examine how the weight of the scientific evidence can assist policymakers to respond to these challenges.

Dieter Helm

VIDEO: Natural Capital: valuing the planet

In the face of the global, local, and national destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems, economist Dieter Helm (Oxford) offers a crucial set of strategies for establishing natural capital policy that is balanced, economically sustainable, and politically viable. 


VIDEO: Why Cities Succeed and Fail Today

How well a city will cope with new opportunities and challenges relies on economic specialisation, human capital formation, and institutional factors. World-leading economic geographer Michael Storper is joined by co-authors Thomas Kemeny and Naji Makarem to challenge many conventional notions about economic development and sheds new light on its workings.

Matthew Kahn

VIDEO: Quality of Life in Urban China: economic growth and the environment

Professor Matthew Kahn (UCLA), a world-leading expert on environmental and urban issues, examines China’s economic growth to present key findings from his latest research. The event was chaired by LSE's Professor Steve Gibbons.

Thomas Piketty

VIDEO: Inequality in the 21st Century

A day-long conference with Thomas Piketty, whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been of great significance in shaping debates about inequality across the globe. This fascinating workshop features talks from experts including Gareth A. Jones of the Department of Geography & Environment (session 3).

Inequality and the 1%

VIDEO: Inequality and the 1%: what goes wrong when the rich become too rich

Danny Dorling (Oxford) looks at economic inequality. Today, the richest 1% take more and more, even while the other 99% are becoming more equal. What exactly is it about inequality that causes most harm?


AUDIO: Housing: Where Will We All Live?

The governor of the Bank of England recently warned that the overheated housing market represents the "biggest risk" to the country’s long-term recovery. BBC Home Affairs editor Mark Easton asks an expert panel - including LSE's Professor Paul Cheshire - why this country has failed to build enough affordable homes and looks at what can be done to solve our housing crisis.

Pablo Navarrete

Pablo Navarrete awarded bursary for Development Studies Conference 2016

Pablo Navarrete, PhD candidate in Regional and Urban Planning, has been awarded a bursary by the Oxford Department of International Development. The bursary will help support his attendance and paper-presentation at this year’s Development Studies Association (DSA) conference in September 2016.  Read more.

STUDY HERE: if you are passionate about human geography, environmental science or climate change, and want to learn from international experts, you should explore our full range of courses.
Davide Luca

Davide Luca (PhD, 2015) awarded the 2016 G. Leonardi Doctoral Prize

Davide Luca has been awarded the 2016 G. Leonardi Doctoral Prize (equal first) for his PhD thesis ‘Essays on the political economy of development: Elections, public investment and regional economic growth in post-2002 Turkey’. Read more.


RUPS film competition winners announced

The first edition of the Plannerman, the MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies (RUPS) film competition, was held on 31 May 2016 and revealed real talent amongst our students. Read more.


MSc UD students awarded fieldwork project grant from RGS-IBG

Four MSc Urbanisation and Development students (Daniela, Femke, Anders and George) have secured an RGS-IBG Fieldwork Project Grant worth £1,000 for their fieldwork in Tanzania. Read more.


Student research funding success

Hilary Malson, an MSc Urbanisation and Development student, has successfully secured financial support from The Smithsonian Institution, the largest research and museum institution in the US, for her dissertation research. The Smithsonian Institution supports a few graduate students each year in conducting independent research through a highly-competitive, funded fellowship ($6,000). Hilary says, “the opportunity is also one of great personal interest, as I am committed to producing publicly-accessible scholarship and will be able to do so through the Smithsonian.”

Hult prize

Student success at 2016 Hult Prize Regionals

Selected from over 25,000 entries to compete for a US$1million pot of seed-funding, two of our Regional and Urban Planning Studies students – Luc Griaud and Alyssa Campbell – and two of our Local Economic Development students – Alice Mougin and Maxime Noell – have been awarded an Honorary Commendation for their innovative social enterprise initiative, The Boocycle. Read more.

RUPS volunteers

RUPS students volunteer for Greece refugee crisis

Thanks and congratulations have been coming in for six of our MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies students who volunteered their time and energy to help with the current refugee crisis in Greece. Read more.

Mill Hill

International students produce report on Mill Hill's planning challenges

A team of MSc Regional and Urban Planning students from LSE have produced a report with key recommendations for Mill Hill in north London. The area, known for its wealth of green space, faces significant challenges including congestion, high population growth, loss of jobs, and decreasing shop diversity. The report provides recommendations to ensure that the community remains vibrant, sustainable and resilient in the context of a growing Greater London. Read more.

Strictly Come Researching 2015

Geography & Environment students lead the way at LSE Research Festival 2015

The new LSE competition for PhD students, entitled Strictly Come Researching, was dominated by Geography & Environment students, with 2 of the 3 winners from the Department. Christopher Suckling and Pablo Navarrete were selected for their 'fresh, original and insightful research'. The winners took part in video interviews with Professor Conor Gearty as part of the LSE Research Festival 2015. Watch now.


LSE Department of Geography and Environment ranked 1st in UK for quality of research publications

We are delighted to announce that the department has been ranked 1st overall in the UK for quality of published research (output), and 4th overall when including research impact and research environment.

Read more about the Research Excellence Framework 2014 results.



Influencing the content of five landmark global development reports 

Department of Geography and Environment expertise on approaches to economic growth have influenced OECD, World Bank and European Commission publications. Featured academics from the department are Andrés Rodríguez-PoseHenry Overman and Michael StorperRead the impact case study.


17th annual BioEcon conference takes place in Cambridge

Dr Ben Groom (LSE) and Dr Andreas Kontoleon (Cambridge Land Economy) co-hosted the 17th annual BIOECON conference on the economics of biodiversity conservation (13th - 15th September 2015). The conference was held at the majestic buildings of King's College Cambridge and was attended by over 120 delegates from academia and the policy world. This year's conference theme was “Experimental and Behavioural Economics and the Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”. Read more.


London faces skyscraper pressure unless planning laws change

Scarcity of land in London could result in the capital becoming a city of residential skyscrapers unless existing planning laws are altered, according to research by Gabriel Ahlfeldt, Associate Professor of Urban Economics and Land Development at LSE. As long as outward growth is prevented by policies such as the ‘green belt’, the city will need to grow vertically as the population increases. Read more.

Red earth lights

Responding to climate change: the challenge of policy-making when expert opinion is divided

Disagreement among social scientists means that many policy initiatives to tackle climate change remain economically contentious, despite a general consensus that the problem is real, man-made and dangerous.

LSE's Ben Groom and Mark Freeman of Loughborough have examined the difficulties associated with reaching an appropriate policy response. Read more.

LSE Library

LSE academic takes best paper prize for work on EU regional policy

Dr Riccardo Crescenzi (LSE) and Dr Mara Giua (Roma Tre University) won the Competition for the Best Paper at the ‘Challenges for the New Cohesion Policy’ Conference, organised by the Presidency of the European Union, together with the European Commission DG REGIO and the Regional Studies Association (RSA). Read more.


PhD options at LSE Geography & Environment >>

Cross cutting themes - the research subjects that unify the department >>



Department of Geography and Environment
LSE Houghton Street