Research Summary and Profile
- Research interests:
- History, Human rights, Photography, Social Sciences
- Asia, Europe, South America, United Kingdom
- Summary of research interests and expertise:
I am an architect and urban historian with extensive experience in international comparative research covering areas such as urban and rural sustainable planning, metropolitan history and the ethnography of urban travel, with projects completed successfully in the UK, Europe, America and China. I have been a consultant for agencies such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on projects with African-American communities in the Pacific Coast of Colombia (2000) and taken part in collaborations with artists, geographers, planners and architects on a range of issues around social exclusion, memory and heritage and underground travel.
My research interests and expertise are threefold. First, I am interested in the politics of urban infrastructure in both contemporary and historical contexts which I have examined through publications, both recent and upcoming, and panels at international conferences (New York, 2012, Prague 2012 and Lisbon 2014). Secondly, I have worked on successful collaborations with the museum and heritage sector, including a series of public engagement events with the London Transport Museum (and UCL) during the ‘150 years’ celebrations of the London Underground in 2013. Thirdly, my most recent work has encouraged and identified the challenges behind a dialogue between the European urban past and the Chinese urban future. This is the key aim of the project ‘Past Futures: 19th-century London and Paris and the future of Chinese cities’, funded by the Urban Knowledge Network Asia, an initiative of the European Commission, and based at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) where I spent a term as a visiting scholar (2014).
Spoken Written French Fluent Fluent Spanish Fluent Fluent
- Publication Details
Date Details 01-Dec-2014 Suivre les lignes, briser les cercles : le chemin de fer urbain et l’idéal socialiste à Londres et Paris au tournant du XXe siècle
In M. Flonneau, A. Passalacqua and L. Laborie (Eds), Démocratie et Mobilité (Rennes: Presse Universitaire Rennes)
30-Nov-2013 The London Journal, special issue 150 years of the London Underground
31-Oct-2013 Going Underground: New Perspectives
A selection of essays from the conference Going Underground: Travel Beneath the Metropolis 1863-2013, podcasts of which are available at: http://historyspot.org.uk/podcasts/going-underground-travel-beneath-metropolis-1863-2013
31-Aug-2013 Mobilities at a Standstill: Regulating Traffic and Structuring Congestion in London c.1863-1870
Journal of Historical Geography
31-Aug-2013 Metropolitan Railways: Urban Form and the Public Benefit in London and Paris c.1850-1880
The London Journal vol. 38, 3
01-Dec-2012 Railway Economy
C. Pressler and K. Attar (Eds.), Senate House Library University of London (London: Scala Publishers), no. 38
31-May-2012 Converging Lines Dissecting Circles: Railways and the Socialist Ideal in London and Paris at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
M. Davies and J. Galloway (Eds.), London and Beyond: Essays in honour of Derek Keene (London: Institute of Historical Research Series), 317-37
31-May-2012 John Peake Knight
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
15-Dec-2009 The polities of a new technology: Electricity and the city railway, London and Paris c.1880 – 1910
Métropoles 6, Des mobilités urbaines à la ville mobile. Sur les traces des circulations urbaines, 140-70
- Research Projects & Supervisions
Details Isthmus of Empire: The Trading and Crossing of Borders in Panama and Suez
The project is a comparative history of two transcontinental interoceanic crossings: Panama and Suez. Drawing on the two only comparative works to date by Siegfried (1940) and Fabre (2010), both originally published in French, the project will present the history of the two crossings to English audiences and challenge the account of their official histories (Arosenema 1997, Farnie 1969). It will focus on three aspects generally unexplored by past and recent historiography, namely scientific exploration, the imperial politics of local destabilization and the politics of migrant labour.
Past Futures: 19th-century London and Paris and the Future of Chinese Cities
The project draws comparisons over time (19th century and today) and across space (London, Paris and Shanghai), with two general aims in mind: (1) o contribute to the development of a common vocabulary that brings together a historical non-instrumental understanding of the past and current discourses and ideas about the future of cities; and (2) to facilitate a dialogue between the ideas and trends around current urbanisation in China and the experience that London and Paris underwent in the 19th century, particularly in relation to urban transport infrastructure.
The project was funded by the Urban Knowledge Network Asia, an initiative of the European Commission, and was based at the Center for Urban and Demographic Studies, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, China.
Penser et construire la métropole. The Grand Paris: a genealogy
To facilitate circulation within and into and out of Paris has been a structural part of how the city has been transformed throughout its history. Often, devising new ways of shaping its growth by responding effectively to ever increasing flows of information, waste, goods, capital and people has been linked to concerns about its competitive role in the region, the country, Europe and the global markets. But what is the precise relationship between imagining new spaces, new sociabilities and transforming the built and social environment? Can we write a long history of ‘la démarche du Grand Paris’? And if so, what might we learn from it, particularly in the light of comparisons with projects such as Crossrail in London? At a time when the sustainability of cities is a concern shared worldwide, the questions raised by this project will provide an original and innovative view on how metropolitan regions such as Paris have been, are and can be transformed as a result of changing perceptions of the modernisation of cities.
Pumping Time: Geographies of Temporal Infrastructure in Fin-de-Siècle Paris
Available for doctoral supervision: Yes
- Professional Affiliations
Name Activity Economic History Society
Name Type Activity Start date End date Re-Visioning Utopia Charrette about the regeneration of Barrow in Furness, Cumbria 20-Jul-2010 24-Jul-2010 Access platform compartment A composition about the metro in Amsterdam including dance, music and film Director 01-Apr-2004 31-May-2004
- Relevant Events
- Consultancy & Media
- Available for consultancy: