School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Dr Harrison Smith

Research Associate


My research broadly examines the politics of urban science with a particular interest in understanding the impact of big data on cities, and the changing nature of technical expertise in various aspects of economy, society, and governance. My scholarly approach is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on digital sociology, critical geography, and information studies in order to better understand the changing nature of the urban condition, digital economies, and civic governance. 

I am currently working with Prof. Roger Burrows and Prof. Steven Graham in the Global Urban Research Unit of Newcastle University's Faculty of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape. Here I am developing an mixed methods ethnographic study of urban science with a particular interest in understanding how expertise in data analytics impacts academic teaching and research for urban studies and science. 

My dissertation examined on the rise of location based marketing and the role of location data and mobile location analytics for new kinds of consumer segmentation and targeting. It focused in particular on understanding the role of third party data collectors and analytics companies that infer classificatory knowledge of consumer lifestyles by analyzing location data, including location histories and frequencies, and how this information contributes to a broader economic and cultural reshaping of urban environments. It was completed under the supervision of Dr. David J. Phillips, Dr. Leslie Regan Shade, and Dr. Rhonda McEwen at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.

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