School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Professor Roger Burrows

Professor of Cities


Roger Burrows is Professor of Cities at Newcastle. Although physically based in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape and GURU he also works in CURDS in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology. He began this role at the beginning of 2016, moving back to Newcastle - where he had previously lived in the early 1990s - from London. He is committed to interdisciplinary working across the arts, humanities and the social sciences but also has a keen interest in creative and social technologies. He is currently playing a leading role in various aspects of interdisciplinary development at Newcastle.

His academic background is in sociology, statistics and political economy but he has also worked in the fields of social policy and cultural studies. About one-half of his published outputs have been in the field of housing and urban studies with the rest being variously concerned with: consumption; digital technologies; health, illness and the body; migration; the use of metrics in higher education; social class and other inequalities; work and employment; and other topics. He is the author of some 140 articles, chapters, books and reports. His most recent book is The Predictive Postcode: The Geodemographics Classification of British Society(Sage, 2018), co-authored with Richard Webber, a visiting professor in SAPL.

In a career of over 30 years  he has worked at: Kingston Polytechnic; North East London Polytechnic; the University of Surrey; the LSE; University of Teesside; University of York (where he worked for 19 years including spells as both Co-Director of the Centre for Housing Policy and as Head of the Department of Sociology); and, most recently, Goldsmiths, University of London. At Goldsmiths he was Pro-Warden (PVC) for Interdisciplinary Development and the Head of the School of Culture & Society. He remains a Visiting Professor at Goldsmiths.

Between 2005-2007 he led the ESRC E-Society Programme. Between 2002-2005 he was the co-editor of Housing Studies. He is currently on the editorial boards of: Big Data & Society; Body & Society; and Theory, Culture & Society. He was an output assessor for the Social Policy and Social Work UoA in the 2014 REF and will play an interdisciplinary role in REF 2021. He has supervised 15 PhD students to successful completion and is keen to supervise more.


Over the last decade he has helped secure research grants worth almost £2m (£1.5m as PI). In his career to date he has obtained 43 grants (23 as PI). The topics investigated have been varied but include: the impact of unsustainable home ownership on children, families and health; residential mobility in the social rented sector; the geodemographics industry and the social implications of geo-locative technologies more generally; the use of digital technologies by people with chronic illnesses; virtual self-support systems; and, most recently, the impact of the 'super rich' on neighbourhoods in London. 

He is currently working on a project examining 'Luxified Troglodytism' which is mapping out the new subterranean geographies - mega-basements - of plutocratic London. He is also examining the impact of alt-right, neo-reactionary (NRx) philosophies on urban imaginaries and smart cities ideologies.  


He has taught courses on urban studies, social research methods, social and cultural theory, social policy, digital sociology and many other topics throughout his career. At Newcastle he teaches an undergraduate module on Understanding Place and another aimed to support Dissertations. He also makes contributions to modules on: Urban Poverty; Houses and HomesUnderstanding Cities; and Research Skills.