Global Urban Research Unit

Staff Profile

Professor Geoff Vigar

Deputy Head of School


Roles and Responsibilities

Deputy Head of School


PhD: The Politics of Paradigmatic Policy Change and the Greening of UK Transport Planning, Department of Geography, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Postgraduate Diploma, City and Regional Planning. University of Wales College of Cardiff.

BSc(Hons) Town Planning Studies, University of Wales College of Cardiff


Research Interests

My research focuses on the following overlapping elements:
- urban infrastructures. Historically this work has centred on the politics of mobility, infrastructure supply and demand, and their translation into transport policy in particular.

- plan-making in theory and practice. Recent work has been oriented toward evaluating [combinations of] digital and traditional means for debating place futures using deliberative, collaborative and participatory planning theory; and on citizen-led neighbourhood plan-making. 

- bringing design thinking into planning and transport planning processes and methodologies.

- professionalism, knowledge and expertise with regard to built environment professions.

Current funded work

1. Co-Investigator on a major ESRC funded project (2017-2020), 'Working in the Public interest: Spatial planning and the future of public service professional labour, with Zan Gunn, Abby Schoneboom and colleagues at Sheffield University and UCL.

2. Co-directing the Digital Local Democracy theme for Digital Civics, an EPSRC Digital Economy Research Centre [2015-2020] with Open Lab at Newcastle University and Mark Tewdwr Jones and Sebastian Weise from APL]

Research Roles

I was Research Director in APL from April 2012- Feb 2018. I led APL's submission to REF2014 which was the best performing Unit of Assessment at Newcastle by the widely preferred measure of intensity-adjusted GPA. APL was 4th nationally [out of 45] by this measure and also in terms of research power.  

Postgraduate Supervision

Geoff welcomes applications for post-graduate study that mesh with his research interests. To date he has supervised 18 PhD candidates to completion and examined a similar number. He currently mentors 5 students:  

  • Hezam Alsubaie, Transit Oriented Development in Riyadh City (2nd supervisor with Georgiana Varna)
  • Bobbie Bailey, Creating socio-technical processes to support place-based innovations in the reimagining of underused urban spaces, [EPSRC Digital Civics DTC with Clara Crivallero]
  • Jen Manuel, Participatory Media: Creating Spaces for Storytelling in Neighbourhood Planning (EPSRC Digital Civics DTC, lead supervisor with Clara Crivellaro]
  • Sean Peacock: Creating spaces for making places: supporting young people’s involvement in placemaking through digital technology, [EPSRC Digital Civics DTC funded, supervised with Clara Crivellaro and Armelle Tardiveau]
  • Laura Pinzon, Public participation and digital media in urban development (lead supervisor with Seb Weise and Peter Kellett)


Undergraduate Teaching

TCP1027 : Shaping Towns and Cities

TCP1028: Disciplinary perspectives on planning

TCP2028: Urban Infrastructures


Postgraduate Teaching

TCP8902 The Reflexive Practitioner

TCP8034: Planning and Sustainability