About / Contact

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My name’s Duncan Smith, and I’m an academic specialising in urban geography, GIS, visualisation, city modelling and sustainable travel. I’m employed as a lecturer at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London. CASA is a multi-disciplinary centre including city research, modelling and smart city applications. Previous to UCL, I worked for LSE Cities, an international urban research centre at London School of Economics, the Greater London Authority, and in transportation research consultancy.

Research Publications
My recent research has focused on housing and gentrification in the UK. This has included publishing on the sustainable transport impacts of London’s increasingly divisive housing market. At present I am completing research on the gentrification and segregation patterns visible from the 2021 census data. I am also interested in sustainable transportation, and have published on topics such as accessibility modelling, and travel behaviour.

My full list of publications can be viewed on my Google Scholar Profile. My PhD was at CASA supervised by Prof Mike Batty and Prof Andy Hudson-Smith. The PhD investigated the changing physical and economic structure of the London region, and its relationship with urban sustainability (read more here).

Data Visualisations and Interactive Websites
A major research interest of mine is interactive data visualisations, to help make important datasets more accessible and engaging to a wider audience. The most successful of these is the World Population Density Map website, which is an interactive map and statistical analysis of all countries and major cities for the entire globe. This website has received over half a million visitors since 2020, and is a particularly popular tool for geography teaching. In a similar vein, I have also created a visualisation of changes in World City Populations using the UN World Urbanization Prospects dataset. Again this is a popular tool, with over a hundred thousand visitors since 2020.

Gilded City Photography and Heritage Book
Urban history is another interest of mine, and I have worked on several heritage related projects at CASA. This interest led to the publication in 2022 of a photography and history book on London called Gilded City: Tour Medieval and Renaissance London. The book is for a general audience, and explores London’s history through a series of walking tours using photography and mapping.

Citygeographics showcases current projects, publications and research ideas related to urban form, dynamics and sustainability. Feel free to contact me about the work shown here and any potential projects and research collaborations. You can message me at my twitter account @citygeographics, or email duncan2001@gmail.com.

9 thoughts on “About / Contact

  1. Brilliant site. Truly beautiful mapping to demonstrate so many historical and geographical settlement patterns. It would seem useful if you could create a utility that would allow users to define a boundary that would return the (estimated) population within that boundary. One could then look at urban mega-regions beyond the necessarily arbitrary urban center boundaries; examine population clusters that span national borders; review more precisely how sparsely inhabited many sectors of the globe are; and likely a dozen other lines of inquiry.

    1. Hi William, thanks for your comment about the World population density site. I agree that giving more options for setting urban boundaries would improve the website functionality. At the moment the site is not set up to offer this functionality, but I will consider it in the future

  2. I believe that the World Population Density map is not working. I have been trying over the past days and it seems to be frozen at a grey page; may you, please, help?

    Many thanks.

    Kind regards,

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