Professor Simon Joss
- Professor of Urban Futures (Urban Studies)
I joined the University of Glasgow in 2018 as Professor of Urban Futures, based in the Urban Studies section of the School of Social and Political Sciences.
My first degree, in biology, was from the University of Bern (CH). This was followed by doctoral research on technology policy at Imperial College, University of London, under the supervision of John Durant (1993-1998). I subsequently spent over 20 years at the University of Westminster including as director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and founding director of the doctoral Graduate School. As Professor of Science & Technology Studies, I co-founded the International Eco-Cities Initiative in partnership with Dr Arthur Molella (Smithsonian Institution, USA) and Professor Robert Kargon (Johns Hopkins University, USA).
Professional appointments have included membership of funding committees (e.g. Wellcome Trust), advisory committees (e.g. chair of Vitae Researcher Development Advisory Group), technical committees (e.g. BSI Smart and Sustainable Cities and Communities SDS/2), examination boards (e.g. University of Oxford), and editorial boards (e.g. Journal of Spatial Research & Planning).
With a background in Science & Technology Studies (STS), my research interests are in the fields of:
- Urban Futures
- Sustainable urban development
- Urban technologies
- Policy analysis and governance of urban innovation
I am associate director of the ESRC-funded Urban Big Data Centre.
Recent research grants in the field of sustainable urban development, smart cities, and urban big data:
- Urban Big Data Centre: governing urban big data. ESRC (ES/S007105/1), 2019-2023
- Smart eco-cities for a green economy: a comparative study of Europe and China. ESRC (ES/L015978/1), 2015-2018
- Tomorrow’s city today: an international comparison of eco-city frameworks. Leverhulme Trust (IN-2012-102), 2012-2015
- Developing international standards and policy for eco-cities. Rockefeller Foundation (B742225), 2011-2012
- The governance of eco-city innovation. ESRC (ES/I001379/1), 2011-2012
Grant award in support of postgraduate research students:
- Wellbeing When Writing: An intervention programme for tackling mental health and wellbeing issues arising from the doctoral writing process. Office for Students (Catalyst Fund) 2018-2020 (held at University of Westminster).
I have successfully supervised six PhD candidates to completion, and currently have four doctoral researchers under my guidance.
I am available to supervise projects in the broad areas of: sustainable urban development, eco cities, smart cities, policy analysis, governance (community engagement, public accountability), and innovation (experimentation, standardization). I am well versed in both qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews, participant observation, discourse analysis) and quantitative techniques (surveys, bibliometric analysis, webometrics).
Examples of recent doctoral research topics:
- Sustainable development in post-Apartheid South Africa: Johannesburg and Cape Town
- One Planet Living: impact measurement and assessment
- Cycling everywhere: an exploration of the development of mobility cultures
- Eco-cities: technological showcases or social places?
- Urban conservation and environmental sustainability in Scottish urban planning policy and practice
- Using data to transform public services
- Smart city standards in local practice
My teaching – mainly at postgraduate level – encompasses three broad areas: sustainable urban development; urban big data governance; and research methodology.
- Sustainable Urban Futures (URBAN 5119)
- Urban Studies Researching & the Dissertation (URBAN 5116)
- Dissertation supervision