PhD Awarded in Urban Geography – Congratulations!

I am delighted to announce that Dr Aziz Alrashidi was awarded his PhD in Human Geography from Swansea University on the 31st of January. His PhD thesis was in the field of Urban Geography:

An Investigation of Quality of Urban Life (QoUL), A Case Study of Quba Municipality, Medina City, Saudi Arabia

He can be contacted at:

Dr Aziz Alrashidi

Branch of Taibah University in Al Ula

Al Ula Governorate, Saudi Arabia

Taibah University 


Lecturer in Geography (Job Advert)

Link To Advert and How to Apply:

Lecturer in Geography
Swansea University – Faculty of Science and Engineering

Location: Swansea
Salary: £35,326 to £40,927 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 14th January 2022
Closes: 13th February 2022
Job Ref: AC05011
Contract: Fixed term position for 12 months from date of appointment (Enhanced Teaching)

Location: Swansea University (Singleton Park Campus)

This is an exciting opportunity to join the Department of Geography at Swansea University, within the ambitious and newly formed School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics. Swansea Geography is an ambitious and vibrant research community. We conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research spanning Critical Human Geography, Environmental Dynamics, Glaciology, and Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation. Swansea is a coastal city that is both picturesque and cosmopolitan, offering an excellent quality of life. Our stimulating, multidisciplinary environment enables and inspires excellence.

The Lecturer in Geography will be fixed term for 12 months to cover a secondment. The post requires high-quality student-centred teaching and a commitment to enhance the overall student experience, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and a contribution to academic administration and management within the Department and the College. We seek an individual that has experience of teaching, supervising, tutoring, and assessing undergraduate students successfully in aspects of Geography and in a range of learning environments (e.g. tutorials, seminars, lectures, practical sessions, and field classes).

Candidates should have a passion for teaching to inspire and educate future scholars, looking for ways to deliver innovative teaching and learning, engage students, support their employability, and to deliver the highest possible levels of student experience.

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to:

Dr Kevin Rees –; or
Professor Siwan Davies (Head of the School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics) –
Shortlisting w/c 28th February 2022

Interviews w/c 14th March 2022

How to Apply

Applicants should provide a complete online application providing evidence against the essential criteria in the recruitment documentation, clearly identifying which position you are applying for. Applicants should also attach to the application these separate documents:

Curriculum Vitae;
Statement of suitability for the post and your plan to contribute to teaching excellence in Swansea as outlined in the person specification criteria;
These posts are on an Enhanced Teaching Research pathway. The Academic Career Pathways (ACP) scheme is designed to ensure that academic strengths whether in research, teaching, the wider student experience, leadership or innovation and engagement, are all appropriately recognised, developed, valued, and rewarded. Further information is available here – These provide indicative performance levels for all academic staff which will be used in the recruitment process as well as for internal academic promotion. Where there are numeric indicators these will be considered in light of the stage of career, hours of work and other commitments. This may be personal circumstances or work related activities outside of academia such as in industry or a clinical setting. Applicants are very welcome to provide any relevant individual circumstances such as career breaks, any periods of leave or secondment or any other absences, which should be taken into account and how these have had an impact on your career development.

The appointment is subject to the General Terms of Appointment for Academic Staff set out in the attached:

URGENT – ESRC PhD funding for Human Geography with the Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (Post-Doctoral Fellowships also available)

Email me if you want me to supervise your PhD or mentor your Post-Doc Fellowship:

Deadline for PhD applications is 12:00pm GMT on 4th February 2022.

Indications of interest in PDFs must be sent to the pathway convenor, Professor Gary Bridge at Cardiff University before February 1st, 2022.

Further Information (DTP website)

Further Information on Human Geography Pathway (DTP website)

Further Information on PDFs (DTP website)

The Department of Geography at Swansea University invites applications for PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) as part of the Human Geography pathway of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. The deadline for PhD studentship applications is February 4th, 2022. Indications of interest in PDFs must be sent to the pathway convenor, Professor Gary Bridge at Cardiff University before February 1st, 2022. These are both for October, 2022 entry. Enquiries can also be sent to Chris Muellerleile at Swansea University:

The PhD studentships are ‘open’ awards meaning that any topic within the broad remit of the ESRC is eligible. If successful, applicants would be awarded a fully funded studentship for either 3 or 4 years depending on previous experience. Applicants should approach a potential supervisor before submitting their application. Information on the research interests of Swansea Geography staff can be found here.  A short description of the accredited Human Geography pathway is available on the ESRC Wales DTP website here. Prospective PhD students should apply here:

The Postdoctoral fellowships are one year awards. Potential applicants will need an academic mentor, which would be a member of staff at either Cardiff, Aberystwyth, or Swansea University. Information on the research interests of Swansea Geography staff can be found here. The first formal step in the application process is to contact the Human Geography pathway convenor, Professor Gary Bridge at Cardiff University to discuss the suitability of the topic and potential mentors. This conversation with Professor Bridge must happen by February 1st, 2022 at the latest. More information on eligibility for these fellowships, including application information, can be found here:

There will be an information session on applying for a PDF on Monday, January 10th, 2022. See below.

Applying for an ESRC Wales DTP Postdoctoral Fellowship

Monday 10th January 2022, 11:00am-12:00noon

ESRC funded Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunities are open to applicants who have completed their PhD at a research organization that is part of a DTP. Full information regarding Postdoc Fellowships and eligibility is available on the Wales DTP website .

The DTP recently opened its call for ESRC funded Postdoctoral Fellowships to commence in October 2022.  Join us for a live one-hour session aimed at helping you to decide whether a Fellowship is right for you, and how to go about applying. In the session, Wales DTP Director Professor John Harrington will outline the benefits of a Fellowship and how to apply. You will also hear from and have an opportunity to put questions to current and former Wales DTP Postdoctoral Fellows, who will share their own experience of a Fellowship and how it has helped to further their career.

Register for this free one hour session by 5th January 2022. Live talks will be recorded and made available after the event.

What about Los Angeles?

Admit LA to the alpha-city club

“North Atlantic prejudice has denied Los Angeles the global status it deserves.” (my emphasis)


The answer to this Financial Times (FT) op-ed piece is really very simple. The mistake from the journalist is when he says: “The notion of a global or “alpha” city is vague…”. No, it isn’t vague at all and, of course, has nothing to do with the extraordinary claim of ‘prejudice’! The global city and ‘alpha city’ have a very precise definition as international financial centres (IFCs) and as corporate service complexes. The lesser role L.A. plays in those economic sectors on a North American and global basis in comparison to New York and London is why it is ranked lower than them. Paradoxically, if you want to adopt a broader or different definition of a global city beyond banking, international finance and corporate service functions then L.A. would of course be ‘up there’ as a ‘global destination’ and center of entertainment but the definition of a global or alpha city would be very different and potentially so vague that it would be meaningless.

To fully understand why this is an all too common error (and to understand several other errors) see my 2013 research paper:

Smith RG (2013) “The ordinary city trap”, Environment and Planning A, 45 (10), October, 2290–2304

The Ordinary City Trap

Forthcoming Research Seminar Presentation on:

Why skyscrapers after Covid-19?’

Smith RG (2021) ‘Why skyscrapers after Covid-19?’, Vol. 134 (December), Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies:
Free access available:

I will be talking on Wednesday December 8th @2pm in the Research Seminar Series for the Department of Geography at Swansea University about my proof-of-concept paper recently published in the journal Futures and how that paper is the basis for an application for research funding to undertake empirical research on skyscrapers in a way which spans the so-called ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ world.

Why skyscrapers after Covid-19?

My latest paper in Urban Theory is now published online in the journal – Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies

***FREE access until November 10th 2021 here to read or download***:

May be an image of text that says "Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection Public Health Emergency COVID- Initiative"
ALSO Free Open Access Here For The Duration Of The Pandemic:


• Global cities and their skyscrapers will be more important after Covid-19 despite an increase in remote working.
• Skyscrapers outside of global cities, in both the Global North and South, will be less important after Covid-19.
• Skyscraper demand in global cities will strengthen to facilitate in-person interactions in specialized high-value fields.
• Global cities will drive GDP more than before, attracting wealth and demand for luxury residential skyscrapers.
• The location and usage of any skyscraper matters more than its height or reasons for construction.

AMASmith RG. Why skyscrapers after Covid-19?. Futures. 2021;134:102839. doi:10.1016/j.futures.2021.102839
MLASmith, Richard G. “Why skyscrapers after Covid-19?.” Futures vol. 134 (2021): 102839. doi:10.1016/j.futures.2021.102839
APASmith R. G. (2021). Why skyscrapers after Covid-19?. Futures134, 102839.
NLMSmith RG. Why skyscrapers after Covid-19? Futures. 2021 Dec;134:102839. doi: 10.1016/j.futures.2021.102839. Epub 2021 Sep 20. PMID: 34584275; PMCID: PMC8451974.

Rebuilding Swansea: The painful transformation of our cities, how they will look in a post pandemic future and who they will serve


I was interviewed for this newspaper article a couple of weeks ago. Far more of course could be said about the the future of Swansea city centre ‘after’ the pandemic. This is a very upbeat newspaper article about Swansea’s future. There is no mention of the impact of austerity or the pandemic on the incomes of Swansea’s residents and the consequences of that for the city centre, for example. In my comments I was keen to point to how a key risk to Swansea’s new redevelopment plans is that those plans assume a utility to living in the city centre; but that is a utility that is now less certain because of the pandemic.