Personal profile

Personal Statement

I joined the University of Strathclyde in 1975. In 1990 I was appointed to the Chair of Geography. I have been Visiting Professor at the University of Guelph, Canada, and at the University of Vienna.

I have published research on a range of topics including land use conflict in the urban fringe; new settlements; ethnic minority settlement; environmental perception; residential satisfaction; local currencies; geographies of religious affiliation; critical analysis of urban policy; public participation in planning; sustainable urban development; poverty and disadvantage, and quality of life issues. I have a particular interest in urban geography in which an applied perspective has informed much of my work on identifying and explaining processes and patterns of socio-spatial change within contemporary cities.

I have published 25 books and 150 research papers in an international range of academic and professional journals. I have presented more than 100 conference papers and invited lectures at venues across the globe. I have served on the Council of the Institute of British Geographers; and on the management boards of several Commissions of the International Geographical Union; the Council and several committees of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society; and as Honorary President of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers. I have also acted as academic advisor to government research councils in several countries, to universities, local community groups, and public and private research agencies.


Research Interests

I have a particular research interest and expertise in urban geography with the principal objective of identifying and explaining the processes and patterns of socio-spatial change within contemporary cities.

Recent research on urban issues includes work on post-growth urban society; sustainable urban development; conflict and public participation in local planning; residential differentiation in nineteenth century Glasgow; retirement villages as residential environments for the ‘third age’; the role of events in urban regeneration; local money as a response to the globalisation of capital; ethnic minorities; the geography of religious affiliation; gated communities; new settlements; and environments of disadvantage.

I am an acknowledged authority in the field of urban quality of life research in which I have focused particular attention to conditions at the disadvantaged end of the quality of life spectrum. I have published both conceptual and empirical work on the identification, measurement and socio-spatial distribution and effects of differential life quality in contemporary cities.

I also have a long-standing research interest in on the changing geography of the city of Glasgow, and in comparative urbanisation. My trans-national perspective on contemporary Urban Geography is demonstrated by publication of several books on the theme, including an internationally acclaimed book on Urban Geography: A Global Perspective.

Expertise & Capabilities


  • Applied urban geography
  • Urban policy and planning
  • Cities in the contemporary world
  • Sustainable urban development
  • Quality of life

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests focus on the fields of urban historical geography and applied urban geography.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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