Department of Geography,
University College London,
26 Bedford Way,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 5528
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 7565
E-Mail: andrew.harris[at ]ucl.ac.uk
Andrew Harris grew up in Hanwell in West London. He graduated in Geography from the University of Cambridge in 1999, completed a MSc in 'Modernity, Space and Place' at UCL in 2001, and undertook an ESRC-funded PhD in UCL Geography between 2001 and 2005 entitled ‘Branding urban space: the creation of art districts in contemporary London and Mumbai’.
After a year working away from academia, Andrew was as a part-time research fellow at UCL on an AHRC-funded project entitled ‘Liquid City: water, landscape and social formation in twenty-first century Mumbai’. This project explored the material and metaphorical dimensions to water and landscape in Mumbai, and included the making of a short documentary film. Between July 2007 and June 2008, Andrew was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow working on a project entitled ‘Rethinking the creative city: twenty-first century urbanism in London and Mumbai’.
In September 2008, Andrew was appointed as a Lecturer in Urban Studies and Geography at UCL to support an innovative new MSc programme in Urban Studies, which he now convenes, part of an interdisciplinary initiative at UCL called the Urban Laboratory. He was the primary investigator on an ESRC funded research project between 2009-2010 entitled 'Vertical urbanism: geographies of the Mumbai flyover' and ran an AHRC funded international research network on 'Creative city limits: urban cultural economy in a new era of austerity' between 2011-2012. He is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, was Events Coordinator for the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers Urban Geography Research Group (2009-2013), and is currently part of the Urban Lab+ network funded by the EU's Erasmus Mundus Programme Action 3.
2014: Vertical urbanisms: opening up geographies of the three-dimensional city. Progress in Human Geography (In press).
2013 'Concrete geographies: assembling global Mumbai through transport infrastructure' CITY 17 (3), 343-360 Link
2013: ‘Mumbai’s underworld: beneath transport infrastructure’. Moving Worlds: South Asian Cities special issue, 13 (2).
2013: ‘Financial artscapes: Damien Hirst, crisis and the City of London.’ Cities 33, 29-35.
Harris, A. and Moore, S. 2013 'Planning histories and practices of circulating knowledge.’ International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 37 (5), 1499–1509 link
Bunnell, T. and Harris, A. 2012: ‘Re-visioning informality: perspectives from urban Asia.’ International Development Planning Review 34 (4), 339-348.
2012: ‘The metonymic urbanism of twenty-first-century Mumbai.’ Urban Studies 49 (13) Link
2012: ‘Aerial visions and grounded realities: new dimensions of the Mumbai Street’. August, 636.
2012: 'Art and gentrification: pursuing the urban pastoral in Hoxton, London'. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. Link
2008: ‘From London to Mumbai and back again: gentrification and public policy in comparative perspective’. Urban Studies 45, 2407-2428. Link
2008: 'Livingstone versus Serota: the high-rise battle of Bankside’. The London Journal 33, 3, 289-299. Link
Visualising the Ups and Downs of Contemporary Mumbai. In Campkin, B. and Duijzings, G. (eds.) CityMethodologies. IB Tauris.
2014: 'Margins music: Lost futures in London's edgelands'. In Gandy M. and Nilsen, B. (eds.) The Acoustic City. Jovis: Berlin.
2011: 'Vertical urbanism: flyovers and skywalks in Mumbai'. In Gandy (ed) Urban constellations, pp. 118-123.
2011: 'Branding Hoxton: cultural landscapes of postindustrial London'. In Pike, A. (ed.) Brands and Branding Geographies, pp. 187-199.
2009: 'The golden calf: art and finance in contemporary London’. In Moreno, L. (ed.) The Architecture and Urban Culture of Financial Crisis, London: Figaropravda, pp. 48-57.
2005: ‘Opening up the symbolic economy of contemporary Mumbai’. In Hall, T. and Miles, M. (eds.) Advances in Art and Urban Futures. Intellect Books: Bristol, UK and Portland, USA, pp. 29-41.
My work falls into two main strands: critical perspectives on the creative city and explorations of vertical urbanism.
The first of these investigates how symbols, practices and networks associated with the visual arts have become increasingly important in negotiating power in the postindustrial metropolis. This research combines a concern for cultural landscapes and aesthetics with an exploration of the economic and political dynamics of contemporary urban restructuring. I use this focus to consider how spatial articulations and exclusions associated with the creative city have been implicated in asserting discourses and practices of ‘neoliberal’ urbanism, and instigating new waves of inner-city gentrification. Yet I also use this perspective to chart new directions and possibilities for cultural interventions in the contemporary city. I have undertaken work on these themes across several case-studies in London, Mumbai and Buenos Aires. I am also expanding my geographical focus from the inner-city to consider creative practices and visions associated with the suburbs or urban fringe.
The second strand focuses on the three-dimensional geographies of contemporary cities. In particular I am interested in the construction of flyovers and skywalks in Mumbai. This research considers how the visions, materials and practices associated with these elevated infrastructural projects play a constitutive role in new political performances and relations of power. I am also developing work on tall buildings in London, and have been awarded a Beacon Bursary for a web-based project entitled 'Tall tales'.
Throughout my work I use inter-urban and intra-urban comparative frameworks. This enables me to highlight important particularities both between and within cities, contest Eurocentric assumptions in urban and social theory, and open up new channels of urban policy formation.
‘Tall Tales’ web project. Working with Dr Andy Hudson-Smith from UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. (CASA). Funded by the UCL Public Engagement Unit, this project develops a growing public interest in London’s buildings and urban histories.
Londonist feature on Shoreditch (2014)
(design by Sanjay Bhangar from the Mumbai-based CAMP)
Liquid City documentary film (2007)
'Vertical Urbanism' Installation at CitiesMethodologies2010
URBNG001 Cities Space and Power
URBNG002 Urban Imaginations (Convenor)
URBNG003 Creative Cities (Convenor)
URBNG004 Urban Practices
URBNG009 London: Aspects of Change (Convenor)
GEOG 1001 London: a Geographical Introduction
GEOG 2023 Urban Geography
GEOG G040 Social Methods
BENVGPL6 Comparative Planning Systems and Cultures
Current PhD students and their working titles:
Donald Poland, The Remaking of Resilient Space: A Case Study of West Hartford Center (PT, 2009-). Self-funded. Second supervisor (Primary supervisor, Dr Alan Latham).
Sam Merrill, Buried Memories: Mnemonic Production in the London Underground and Berlin U-Bahn. (FT 2010-) University College London Graduate School Research Scholarship. Second supervisor (Primary supervisor, Professor Richard Dennis).
Giles Omezi, The Production of Urban Space in Lagos, 1960-2010 (PT, 2010-) Self-funded. Second supervisor (Primary supervisor, Professor Matthew Gandy).
Astrid Wood, Peripatetic Planning: Tracing the Mobility of Bus Rapid Transit through South African Cities (FT, 2010-) Self-funded. Second supervisor (Primary supervisor, Professor Jennifer Robinson)
Cecil Sagoe (FT, 2013-) The Olympic Effect?: The Changing Availability of Affordable Housing for Low Income Groups Pre, During and Post London 2012. ESRC studentship. Primary supervisor (Secondary supervisor, Dr Ben Clifford, Bartlett School of Planning).
Sam Barton (FT, 2013-) Always Different, Always the Same: The Role of Authenticity in Brixton. ESRC studentship. Primary supervisor (Secondary supervisor, Dr Adam Drazin, Department of Anthropology).
Soledad Martinez (FT, 2013-) Choosing to Walk? A Study of Walking as a Form of Everyday Mobility in Santiago, Chile. Full-support scholarship (Beca Chile), Primary supervisor (Secondary supervisor, Dr Filipa Matos Wunderlich, Bartlett School of Planning).
Ana Maria Alfaro (FT, 2013-) Urban cultural expressions and their impact on developing capabilities: the gastronomic boom in Lima. Peruvian scholarship. Secondary supervisor (Primary supervisor, Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Development Planning Unit).
Murray McKenzie (FT, 2014-) Artists, spatialized practice, and the (re)remembrance of contested space. UCL Overseas Research Scholarship and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Primary supervisor (Secondary supervisor, Professor Matthew Gandy, Department of Geography).