Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

Staff Profile

Emeritus Professor Mike Coombes

Senior Research Investigator


Mike Coombes is now Emeritus Professor and a Senior Research Investigator, having been a researcher in CURDS since the 1970s. He had become Principal Research Associate in 1989 and then -- still a contract researcher -- Professor of Geographic Information. He was the Executive Director of CURDS for several years in the 2000s.

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Research Interests

to summarise in keyword form: geographic variation in British people's life chances; local and regional analysis; definition of market and policy areas.

Mike's research interests include the definition of local labour market areas and functional regionalisation. His work aims to improve ways of analysing social and economic statistics so as to maximise the ‘intelligence’ they can provide to policy-makers and others. More specifically, Mike has led a series of projects for the UK government to define Travel to Work Areas (the only official boundaries which are defined by academics).