Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

Staff Profile

Professor Danny MacKinnon

Professor of Regional Development and Governance; Director of CURDS


Roles and Responsibilities

Director, Centre for Urban & Regional Development Studies (CURDS)



Ma (Hons) Geography, University of Dundee, 1995 

PhD Geography, University of Edinburgh, 1998



2009-2013: Senior Research Fellow, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow.

2001-2009: Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Aberdeen.

2000-2001: Research Fellow, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Aberdeen.

1999-2000: Research Associate, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University.



Royal Geographical Society/ Institute of British Geographers (RGS / IBG)

Google scholar profile






Research Interests  

I am an economic and political geographer whose research is centrally concerned with the institutions and politics of local and regional development. Recent work has contributed to debates in Evolutionary Economic Geography and to questions of urban and regional adaptation and change in particular. My future research agenda involves linking urban and regional development to issues of social and spatial justice in an increasingly unequal world, particularly through work on inclusive growth.  

Current work

Current and developing research has three main strands. 

First, work on regional adaptation and evolution, which is being undertaken collaboratively with colleagues in CURDS and elsewhere. The main focus for this research is the issue of new path creation in post-industrial regions, focusing on renewable energy and the offshore wind sector in particular. The research aims to understand how economic novelty emerges, given the pre-occupation of much evolutionary research with the reproduction of existing forms, often understood in terms of path dependence or 'lock-in'. Other work in this area is developing the idea of adaptive capacity and applying it to local economic governance institutions.

 Second, long-standing interests in governance and the institutions and politics of urban and regional development. This is being pursued though on-going research on the Northern Powerhouse as a key pan-regional initiative designed to address regional disparities in England.  

 A third strand of research is concerned with developing progressive approaches to urban and regional development, focusing on question of inclusive growth. This has been developed recently in the form of JRF-funded research on demand-side initiatives to promote inclusive growth in cities. More broadly, this work seek to develop the outlines of an alternative progressive approach to regional development informed by wider theories of spatial justice. 

Postgraduate Supervision

Laura Sariego

Diana Morales

Lewis Evans

Peter Morris 

Robert Pollock

Gemma Bone

Ruth Puttick

Samson Afewerki (based at NTNU, Trondheim)



Undergraduate Teaching

GEO2099 Economic Geography

GEO3114 Local and Regional Development


Postgraduate Teaching

GEO8002 Local and Regional Development Theory and Practice

GEO8009 Developing Local and Regional Strategies

GEO8018 Local and Regional Development and Governance