Gareth A Jones

Professor of Urban Geography

Department of Geography & Environment


Tel:  [+44] (0)20 7955 7610

Room: STC 5.06, St Clement's Building, LSE

Gareth is Professor of Urban Geography, Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Centre, a part of the Institute for Global Affairs, and Associate Member of the International Inequalities Institute.

His research interests are in urban geography, with a particular interest in how people make use of the city, how cities are representated by policy and practice. He has conducted research in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, India, Ghana and South Africa. He is editor or author of a number of books, most recently Youth Violence in Latin America: Gangs and juvenile justice in perspective (edited with D. Rodgers, Macmillan-Palgrave, New York). He is presently completing a joint book tentatively entitled Street Corners in a Global World: everyday life and identities of Mexican street youth. He is a Co Principal Investigator on an ESRC-NWO-DFG grant, with Dr Rivke Jaffe (Amsterdam) and Prof. Eveline Durr (LMU), investigating the commodification of urban poverty and violence in four cities in the Americas: Kingston, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. See

Gareth is currently a joint editor of the Journal of Latin American Studies, member of The British Academy Area Studies Panel for Latin America and the Caribbean, and an invited member of the Advisory Committee of the Centre of Excellence for Statistics on Governance, Public Security and Justice, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (Mexico). He has undertaken consultancy for the Department for International Development (DfID), UN-Habitat , UN Youth Unit (PDF) and Government of South Africa, and has been a trustee and advisor to a number of Non-Governmental Organisations. He has written a number of short commissioned pieces outside of academia, including for The Royal Opera House and Architecture Foundation.

Gareth's main teaching contribution is to the MSc Urbanisation & Development, for which he teaches courses on urban policy in the developing world and on urban ethnography. 

  • The Enigmatic City: essays on culture and space in Mexico
  • Deconstructing the 'slum': art and the politics of slums
  • Everyday Life and Identities of Street Youth in Mexico (PDF)
  • Street Youth, Violence and Gangs in Latin America
  • Elite Space: gated communities, race and identities in Durban, South Africa

Selected recent publications:

  • The World Bank’s World Development Report 2011 on Conflict, Security, and Development: A critique through five vignettes, with D. Rodgers, Journal of International Development, Vol.23, pp.980-995, 2011
  • Slumming About: aesthetics, art and politics, City, Vol.15. No.5. pp.617-629, 2011
  • Natural Neighbors: Indigenous Landscapes and ‘Eco-estates’ in Durban, South Africa , With. R. Ballard, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol.101. No.1. pp.131-148, 2011
  • 'The Continuing Debate about Urban Bias: The thesis, its critics, its influence, and its implications for poverty reduction strategies', with S.E.Corbridge, Progress in Development Studies, Vol. 10, No.1. pp.1-18, 2010
  • 'Whither Participatory Banking?: Experiences with village blacks in South Africa'. With A. Dallimore, European Journal of Development Research. Vol 21, 2: 344-36, 2009
  • 'Globalising Initiatives for Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction: Exploring "failure" with reference to education and work among urban youth in The Gambia and Ghana', with S.Chant. Geoforum, Vol. 40, 2: 184-196, 2009 (PDF)
  • 'Bodies on the Line: Identity markers among Mexican street youth', with Herrera, E. and S. Thomas de Benitez, Children's Geographies, Vol.7. No.1: 67-81, 2009 (PDF
  • 'Megaprojects: Beneath the pavement, excess', with M. Moreno, City, Vol.11, No.2: 143-163, 2007 (PDF)
  • 'Tears, Trauma and Suicide: Everyday violence among street youth in Puebla, Mexico', with E. Herrera and S. Thomas de Benitez, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 26, No. 4: 462-479, 2007 (PDF)
Gareth A. Jones inequality event

VIDEO & AUDIO: 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).

> Videos & podcasts


LSE academic’s research receives significant ESRC support

The ESRC has chosen to support work by Dr Gareth Jones as part of the Open Research Area joint programme to study 'Slum Tourism in the Americas: Commodifying Urban Poverty and Violence'. The funding, worth a total of €1,011,245 for 3 years, will support research with partners from the University of Amsterdam (Dr Rivke Jaffe) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Prof. Eveline Dürr). The project will be conducted in Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico and the US.

Favela Research

Favela NGOs rewrite social identities and combat stigma, affirms new LSE study

Pioneering research in Rio de Janeiro's favelas has mapped the causes of social exclusion and identified methods used to help people break free of their backgrounds which could improve the lives of the urban poor across the globe.

Among the academics involved was Dr Gareth A. Jones of the Department of Geography and Environment, who said that these communities “are not just rejecting the social identity given, but moving towards the social identity they want".


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