Global Urban Research Unit


About GURU

Analysing cities and towns to understand place and to creatively and sustainably transform it.

Aerial shot of Grey Street, Newcastle

The Global Urban Research Unit (GURU) sits within the School of Architecture Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University.

Our work is theoretically informed but often deeply related to the experiences of citizens, policy-makers and other stakeholders. We pride ourselves on the ways our work mixes applied and theoretical elements to varying degrees.

The Global Urban Research Unit aims to be a sociable and lively place to conduct research. Our programme of events, enlivened by a programme of visiting fellows and professors maintains and invigorates this environment, as do our postgraduate students.

We also contribute to the School of Architecture Planning and Landscape's seminar series, which runs weekly during term-times.

Our research

Research Excellence Framework 2014

GURU contributed to the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape's REF submission. This was graded 4th out of 45 for both research intensity and research power in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

REF 2014 graded 85% of the submissions work as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) and our ranking in terms of intensity highlights our submission of over 90% of eligible staff.

Research themes 

GURU's work is concerned with questions of social and environmental justice in the management and direction of place futures. We are particularly interested in how places are governed and how different governance regimes affect outcomes. These concerns cut across our four overlapping research theme groups:

Social and ecological responsibility

GURU works in research situations that reveal complex social and ecological concerns. We take these matters seriously and run GURU in ways that react critically and positively to these challenges.

We are pro-poor in our approach to urban questions. We seek to champion the ecological dimensions of policy and decisions where appropriate.