Professor Nicola Livingstone

  • Professor in Real Estate (Urban Studies)

pronouns: She/her/hers

Room 124, 25-29 Bute Gardens, Urban Studies, University of Glasgow

Import to contacts



Nicola Livingstone is Professor in Real Estate, based in Urban Studies. Prior to joining the University of Glasgow in 2023, Nicola worked at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL and Heriot-Watt University, where she completed her PhD in 2011. Her thesis explored the urban form of charity retailing from a Marxist perspecitve.  

Nicola has published widely on real estate and urban studies and has recently been working on projects exploring investment market trends, housing densification, the evolution of the office market during the coronavirus pandemic, charity and food insecurity, and the impacts of changes to the planning system on cities. She has completed work for the RICS, BA/Leverhulme and the Investment Property Forum, and worked on an ORA/ESRC project on investment flows and residential development in London, Paris and Amsterdam.

Nicola also works with colleagues the University of Toronto where she is a Visiting Professor, and in 2020 co-edited the collection ‘Critical Dialogues of Urban Governance, Development and Activism: London and Toronto’. Her work is broadly interdisciplinary, blending perspectives drawn from real estate, planning and governance and critical social science, interrogating our lived experiences of the built environment.


Research interests

Nicola's research is multi-faceted within urban social theory, examining the creation, perpetuation and perceptions of built environments through a variety of distinct but complementary perspectives – real estate, planning and governance, and the social form of the built environment. Within these three themes her research considers: 

  • Real Estate: Emergence of residential property as a mature asset class in the UK; institutional investment trends; post-covid impacts on office markets; the retail sector and its ongoing restructuring. 
  • Planning & Governance: Market and policy-led mechanisms and outcomes; housing market dynamics; purpose-built student accommodation and studentification; densification.
  • Social form of the Built Environment: How built form mediates and manifests social relations and experiences from a political economy perspective; charity as a concept; food insecurity and poverty; social determinants of health. 

Research groups


Selected Grants


PI with Bunce, S. Critical Dialogues of the Post-Covid City: Urban challenges and sustainable transformations in London and Toronto. UCL Global Engagement Office: Strategic Partnership Funds UCL and  University of Toronto, £60,000.


Co-I. Developing an intelligent urban density in the time of covid: short course 2021-22. UCL Global Engagement Office: Rome Cities Fund, £5,000.


Co-I. What is Governed in Cities: Residential Investment Landscapes and the Governance and Regulation of Housing Production. Open Research Area (ORA) for the Social Sciences: £1.176m. ESRC UK funded £457,780.


PI. Constellations of hunger:  Spatio-temporal discourses of urban food insecurity. BA/Leverhulme, £7,625.


Co-I. Freedom to Reuse Property: Assessing Fiscal and Community Impacts. RICS, £20,000.


Co-I.New Money in Rural Areas. RICS, £20,000.


Co-PI. Unravelling Liquidity in Direct Commercial Real Estate Markets: An International Comparative Study. Investment Property Forum (IPF) Research Programme, £55,300.



Nicola is interested in supervising doctoral students working across real estate, planning and governance and social theory. 

She welcomes PhD enquires across these areas. 


Contributes to the MSc Real Estate Programme and is currently involved in delivering: 

  • Real Estate Valuation and Appraisal
  • Development Economics