School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

News Item

University professor reaches rare citations record

Professor Stephen Graham has achieved over 12,000 citations on Google Scholar, an extremely rare feat for a social scientist researcher.  An influential researcher and author addressing the changing nature of cities, Prof. Graham’s work has been central to improving understanding of how urban life links with infrastructure and mobility, the connections between cities and digital media, the growth of ‘surveillance societies’, and the growing militarisation of urban life.

Stephen Graham is Professor of Cities and Society at the Global Urban Research Unit and is based in Newcastle University's School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.  Writing, publishing and lecturing across many countries and a variety of disciplines over the past 23 years, Professor Graham has been Visiting Professor at MIT and NYU, amongst other institutions. The author, editor or co-author of ten major books, his work has been translated into fifteen languages.

Prof. Graham’s most important and influential books have offered new ways of understanding cities across the world. The first, Splintering Urbanism (published with Simon Marvin in 2001), argued that cities are fragmenting into enclaves – gate communities, airport complexes, malls and theme parks, secured business and logistics  centres – and that these are connected by a wide range of infrastructure systems of very different quality based on their wealth and power within increasingly uneven geographies . (Contrast Heathrow’s ‘premium’ and super-fast train service into the west End or London’s TGV links to Paris and Amsterdam with their poor connections to the rest of the UK). ‘Splintering Urbanism’ has been an extremely seminal book and has been cited over 2,600 times (as of May 2015). The idea of ‘splintering’ cities is now a staple of the ways in which urbanists, social scientists and policy makers understand contemporary cities across the world.

The second book, “Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism” (Verso, March, 2010), is a major international and interdisciplinary exposé of the tightening connections across the world between urban life, militarism and increasingly authoritarian ideas about security. The book, which was entered for the 2010 Orwell Prize, has so far been translated into Mandarin, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, German, French and Portuguese. It’s central theme – the tightening militarisation and securitisation of urban life –  is being picked up by media and activists all over the world in the wake of police abuses against demonstrators, the ‘lock  down’ of cities during mega-events and political summits,  and the adoption by police forces of military equipment.

Professor Graham’s next book, “Vertical” (Verso, 2016) - currently in preparation - will offer a broad exploration of how the vertical stacking of architectures, infrastructures and spaces matters in todays’ world. With essays on everything from sewers, bunkers, flyovers, housing towers and skyscrapers to human bodies, satellites, drones and aircraft, the aim of the book is to get us to think more critically about the vertical aspects of the politics of geography.

published on: 18 May 2015