The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Prof Adam Dennett

Prof Adam Dennett

Professor of Urban Analytics

Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2010

Research summary

I have a range of research interests which all fall broadly under the banner of quantitative human geography / urban analytics / geographic information science. 

My more recent publications have touched on topics including migration (and particularly modelling migration using spatial interaction models), beer and brewing geographies, longitudinal analysis and urban analytics, however I have ongoing research projects in areas as diverse as building stock, crowd-sourcing, residential mobilities, urban health and inequalities and housing analysis. Tying all of these themes together are data and quantitative methods, but I am effectively a little bit of an academic 'magpie'. 

I am keen to carry out applied and real-world relevant research. Increasingly, spatially and temporally referenced data are offering opportunities for both a broader and deeper understanding of the lives we live and the environments we inhabit. The domains where such data and appropriate analysis and models can offer insights with potentially tangible benefits have always been wide-ranging, but the awareness or realisation of the potential of data analytics in both the public and private sectors has lagged. 

The continual proliferation of new data and the democratisation of analysis through open tools means that the opportunities for applied research with impactful outcomes have never been greater, with urban areas and their densities of activity presenting the most pressing problems. Given this, some interacting empirical themes shine through as areas of research priority:

These relate to human populations (their health, mobilities and relative opportunities), housing and aspects of urban economic activity. Understanding the evolution of urban populations is vital if we are to live in culturally and socially sustainable cities, while the ways in which access to resources such as housing, along with evolving economic paradigms such as sharing and crafting are having tangible impacts on the socio-economic composition of neighbourhoods. Ultimately this all feeds into the fundamental concerns of health and well-being which are the preoccupations of all who govern and make decisions that affect societies. 

My research vision, therefore, is broad, but seeks to make use of data, analysis and models to pick at these issues and offer observations of, recommendations for and solutions to these urban challenges. 

Teaching summary

I currently teach the CASA0005 Geographic Information Systems and Science course in CASA


University of Leeds
Doctorate, |
University of Cambridge
PGCE, PGCE. | 2002


I am currently Head of Department and Associate Professor in Urban Analytics, in the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London.

I arrived at UCL in 2010 as a post-doc working as lead researcher on the migration stream of the Explaining, Modelling & Forecasting Global Dynamics (ENFOLD-ing) project led by Prof Sir Alan Wilson. During my post-doc years I undertook other roles as a Research Associate for both the UK Data Service Census Support Service (with Oliver Duke-Williams in the Department for Information Studies) and the Centre for Longitudinal Study Information and User Support (CeLSIUS). In 2013 I became a Lecturer in CASA, becoming deputy director in 2016, Associate Professor in 2017 and Head of Department in 2018.

Prior to joining UCL, I worked in the School of Geography, University of Leeds. For four years I was a Research Officer involved in facilitating access for academic users to large (primarily census but increasingly non-census), interaction data sets for the Centre for Interaction Data Estimation and Research (CIDER) project funded by the ESRC. 

Whilst at Leeds working as a Research Officer I completed a part-time PhD - thesis titled "Understanding internal migration in Britain at the start of the 21st Century". Part of this work involved developing a national geodemographic area classification based on the characteristics of migrants and migration flows; a classification which has used as a framework for monitoring changes in the patterns of internal migration in Britain between censuses. 

Prior to working in Universities I had brief career as a secondary school teacher. After completing a degree in Geography at Lancaster University in 2001 and teacher training at the University of Cambridge in 2002, I worked for three years as a geography teacher at Hedingham School in Essex - leaving to undertake a Masters degree at the University of Leeds in 2005.