The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Astrid Wood

Lecturer in Economic Geography


Astrid Wood is a critical urban geographer concentrating on governance and the built environment. Her research expertise includes comparative urbanism, critical urban theory, development, the Global South, governance, inclusive cities, mobilities, policy mobilities, postcolonial studies, South(ern) Africa, sustainability, transport and urban studies.

Over the past decade, Astrid has been involved in studying and shaping the urban form of cities in Albacete, Ankara, Boston, Cape Town, Chicago, Dar es Salaam, Edinburgh, Erode, eThekwini, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Madras, Madrid, New Orleans, New York, Shenzhen and Washington DC.

Astrid holds a PhD in Geography from University College London (UCL), a Master of City Planning and a certificate in Urban Design, City Design and Development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College. Previously, she held posts at Cardiff University, Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL), University College London (UCL) and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

For more information: Email - astrid.wood(at)

Also see: Google Scholar Citations; Imagining Urban Futures: Researching Policy Mobilities and Urban PoliticsLinkedIn Profile


Research area

Astrid specializes in Southern cities and their mechanisms for circulating urban policy. Her research considers how and why cities are increasingly constituted through relational connections with distantiated sites by focusing on the range of engagements taking place in order to localize a particular case of best practice. This research draws on her experience working with South African cities to develop new mechanisms for cooperation by circulating information, knowledge and best practice for urban planning and municipal governance. Astrid has published research papers in AntipodeEnvironment and Planning A, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Public Culture, Urban Forum and Urban Geography. 

Research projects

The geography of bus rapid transit 

The project traces the mobility of BRT from Latin Americans cities to (South) African cities through the social and material exchanges between importing and exporting localities. 

Postcolonial debates in urban transport geography 

In departing from the predominately technical, Northern and formalist approaches to mobility, this project explores a decolonial view of urban transport by attending more closely to policy, practice and knowledge of transport infrastructures. This project advocates for a repoliticisation of transport, to explicitly frame it as urban and to reconnect it with critical urban studies. 

Deconstructing the global south

The project develops new understandings of cities of the global south by deconstructing the binaries that hinder practices of learning, and perhaps in doing so, debate the very categorization itself.

PhD projects related to cities, comparative urbanism, mobilities, policy mobilities, South(ern) African urbanism are most welcome.



Undergraduate teaching

Geo1096 - Geographical Study Skills
Geo2111 - Doing Geographical Research
Geo2224 - Urban Geographies of Economic and Environmental Sustainability: Barcelona Experience
Geo2099 - Economic Geography
Geo3099 - Dissertation

Geo3141 - Cities of the Global South (module leader)

This module introduces students to contemporary urban debates concerning cities of the Global South. The lectures, seminars and readings examine the divergent challenges and opportunities, emphasizing the connections and contentions influencing urban culture, economies, governance, morphologies, politics and planning. It builds on ideas explored at Stage 2 and students should be comfortable with concepts in development, economic, political and/or social geography. Students will be expected to write two essays and lead as well as participate in weekly discussions.

Postgraduate teaching

Geo8017 - Human Geography: Concepts in Action