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).

Research interests

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.

Further details here Google Scholar and here ResearchGate.


List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2007 | 2003 | 2002 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1995
Number of items: 38.


Joss, S. , Sengers, F., Schraven, D., Caprotti, F. and Dayot, Y. (2019) The smart city as global discourse: storylines and critical junctures across 27 cities. Journal of Urban Technology, 26(1), pp. 3-34. (doi: 10.1080/10630732.2018.1558387)


Joss, S. and Rydin, Y. (2018) Prospects for standardising sustainable urban development. In: Bell, S. and Morse, S. (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Sustainability Indicators. Series: Routledge international handbooks. Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY, pp. 364-378. ISBN 9781138674769 (doi:10.4324/9781315561103)

Joss, S. (2018) Future cities: asserting public governance. Palgrave Communications, 4, 36. (doi: 10.1057/s41599-018-0087-7)

De Jong, M., Chen, Y., Joss, S. , Lu, H., Zhao, M. and Yang, Q. (2018) Explaining city branding practices in China's three mega-city regions: the role of ecological modernization. Journal of Cleaner Production, 179, pp. 527-543. (doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.01.098)

Cowley, R., Joss, S. and Dayot, Y. (2018) The smart city and its publics: insights from across six UK cities. Urban Research and Practice, 11(1), pp. 53-77. (doi: 10.1080/17535069.2017.1293150)

Joss, S. and Cowley, R. (2018) National policies for local urban sustainability: a new governance approach? In: Eames, M., Dixon, T., Hunt, M. and Lannon, S. (eds.) Retrofitting Cities for Tomorrow's World. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: Chichester, West Sussex, pp. 227-245. ISBN 9781119007210 (doi:10.1002/9781119007241.ch14)


Caprotti, F. et al. (2017) Smart Eco-City Development in Europe and China: Policy Directions. Project Report. University of Exeter, Exeter.

Caprotti, F., Cowley, R., Datta, A., Castán Broto, V., Gao, E., Georgeson, L., Herrick, C., Odendaal, N. and Joss, S. (2017) The New Urban Agenda: key opportunities and challenges for policy and practice. Urban Research and Practice, 10(3), pp. 367-378. (doi: 10.1080/17535069.2016.1275618)

Joss, S. , Cook, M. and Dayot, Y. (2017) Smart cities: towards a new citizenship regime? A discourse analysis of the British smart city standard. Journal of Urban Technology, 24(4), pp. 29-49. (doi: 10.1080/10630732.2017.1336027)

Joss, S. and Cowley, R. (2017) Sustainable cities in Asia: preface. In: Caprotti, F. and Yu, L. (eds.) Sustainable Cities in Asia. Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY, xviii-xix. ISBN 9781138182110 (doi:10.4324/9781315643069)


de Jong, M., Yu, C., Joss, S. , Wennersten, R., Yu, L., Zhang, X. and Ma, X. (2016) Eco city development in China: addressing the implementation challenge. Journal of Cleaner Production, 134(Part A), pp. 31-41. (doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.03.083)


De Jong, M., Joss, S. , Schraven, D., Zhan, C. and Weijnen, M. (2015) Sustainable–smart–resilient–low carbon–eco–knowledge cities; making sense of a multitude of concepts promoting sustainable urbanization. Journal of Cleaner Production, 109, pp. 25-38. (doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.02.004)

Joss, S. (2015) Eco-cities and sustainable urbanism. In: Wright, J. D. (ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier: Amsterdam ; Boston, pp. 829-837. ISBN 9780080970875 (doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.74010-4)

Joss, S. (2015) Sustainable Cities: Governing for Urban Innovation. Series: Planning, environment, cities. Palgrave Macmillan: New York. ISBN 9781137006363

Joss, S. , Cowley, R., de Jong, M., Müller, B., Park, B. S., Rees, W., Roseland, M. and Rydin, Y. (2015) Tomorrow’s City Today: Prospects for Standardising Sustainable Urban Development. Project Report. University of Westminster, London.


Tomozeiu, D. and Joss, S. (2014) Adapting adaptation: the English eco-town initiative as governance process. Ecology and Society, 19(2), 20. (doi: 10.5751/ES-06411-190220)

Joss, S. (2014) Rising to the challenge: public participation in sustainable urban development. In: Hofmeister, W., Rueppel, P. and Lye, L. F. (eds.) Eco-cities: Sharing European and Asian Best Practices and Experiences. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung: Singapore, pp. 35-54. ISBN 9789810901363


Joss, S. , Cowley, R. and Tomozeiu, D. (2013) Towards the ‘ubiquitous eco-city’: an analysis of the internationalisation of eco-city policy and practice. Urban Research and Practice, 6(1), pp. 54-74. (doi: 10.1080/17535069.2012.762216)

Joss, S. , Kargon, R. H. and Molella, A. P. (2013) From the Guest Editors. Journal of Urban Technology, 20(1), pp. 1-5. (doi: 10.1080/10630732.2012.735408)

Joss, S. and Molella, A. P. (2013) The eco-city as urban technology: perspectives on Caofeidian International Eco-City (China). Journal of Urban Technology, 20(1), pp. 115-137. (doi: 10.1080/10630732.2012.735411)


Joss, S. (2012) Tomorrow's City Today: Eco-city Indicators, Standards and Frameworks: Bellagio Conference Report. Project Report. University of Westminster, London.

Joss, S. , Tomozeiu, D. and Cowley, R. (2012) Eco-city indicators: governance challenges. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 155(12), pp. 109-120. (doi: 10.2495/SC120101)


Joss, S. (2011) Eco-cities: the mainstreaming of urban sustainability - key characteristics and driving factors. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 6(3), pp. 268-285. (doi: 10.2495/SDP-V6-N3-268-285)

Joss, S. , Tomozeiu, D. and Cowley, R. (2011) Eco-Cities: a Global Survey 2011: Eco-City Profiles. Project Report. University of Westminster, London.

Joss, S. (2011) Eco-city governance: a case study of Treasure Island and Sonoma Mountain Village. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 13(4), pp. 331-348. (doi: 10.1080/1523908X.2011.611288)


Joss, S. (2010) Accountable governance, accountable sustainability? A case study of accountability in the governance for sustainability. Environmental Policy and Governance, 20(6), pp. 408-421. (doi: 10.1002/eet.559)

Joss, S. (2010) Eco-cities: a global survey 2009. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 129, pp. 239-250. (doi: 10.2495/SC100211)


Joss, S. (2009) Making technology accountable - citizen’s conferences in the era of public accountability. Revista Diacrítica, 23(2), pp. 299-316.


Joss, S. (2007) Public spheres pushing for change: participation in the governance of GM crops. In: Taylor, I. E.P. (ed.) Genetically engineered crops: interim policies, uncertain legislation. Series: Crop science. Haworth Food & Agricultural Products Press: New York, pp. 305-339. ISBN 9781560229889


Joss, S. (2003) Zwischen Politikberatung und Öffentlichkeitsdiskurs: Erfahrungen mit Bürgerkonferenzen in Europa. In: Schicktanz, S. and Naumann, J. (eds.) Bürgerkonferenz: Streitfall Gendiagnostik. Leske und Budrich: Opladen, pp. 15-35. ISBN 9783810036292 (doi:10.1007/978-3-663-09456-2_1)


Joss, S. (2002) Toward the public sphere—reflections on the development of participatory technology assessment. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 22(3), pp. 220-231. (doi: 10.1177/02767602022003006)

Joss, S. and Bellucci, S. (Eds.) (2002) Participatory Technology Assessment: European Perspectives. Center for the Study of Democracy: London. ISBN 9780853748038


Joss, S. (2000) Participation in parliamentary technology assessment: from theory to practice. In: Vig, N. J. and Paschen, H. (eds.) Parliaments and Technology: the Development of Technology Assessment in Europe. State University of New York Press: Albany, NY, pp. 325-364. ISBN 9780791443033


Joss, S. (1999) Public participation in science and technology policy- and decision-making — ephemeral phenomenon or lasting change? Science and Public Policy, 26(5), pp. 290-293. (doi: 10.3152/147154399781782338)

Joss, S. and Borwnlea, A. (1999) Considering the concept of procedural justice for public policy-and decision-making in science and technology. Science and Public Policy, 26(5), pp. 321-330. (doi: 10.3152/147154399781782347)


Joss, S. (1998) Danish consensus conferences as a model of participatory technology assessment: an impact study of consensus conferences on Danish Parliament and Danish public debate. Science and Public Policy, 25(1), pp. 230-22. (doi: 10.1093/spp/25.1.2)


Joss, S. and Durant, J. (1995) The UK national consensus conference on plant biotechnology. Public Understanding of Science, 4(2), pp. 195-204. (doi: 10.1088/0963-6625/4/2/006)

Joss, S. and Durant, J. (Eds.) (1995) Public Participation in Science: the Role of Consensus Conferences in Europe. Science Museum: London. ISBN 9780901805850

This list was generated on Tue Mar 31 04:35:46 2020 BST.


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