The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Dr Duncan Smith

Dr Duncan Smith

Lecturer in GIS Visualisation

Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Apr 2014

Research summary

My research interests are in the study of urban geography, the built-environment, transport accessibility and sustainability using spatial analysis, visualisation and modelling methods. Examples of my work are viewable at my research blog citygeographics. Recently great advances have been made in the quality and availability of urban spatial data. These advances are utilised in research at CASA to better inform planners and stakeholders on current urban trends and the impacts of policy decisions. For example my research thesis uses detailed network analysis, business survey and census data to analyse and map how the changing economic geography of the global city-region London is having dramatic impacts on travel patterns and transport sustainability. 

Teaching summary

Beginning in 2013, Duncan has been teaching GIS, spatial analysis and statistics to undergraduate and masters students at the Bartlett Planning School, drawing on his ten years of experience of applying GIS in urban research.


University College London
PhD, Urban Geography | 2011
University of Edinburgh
MSc, Geographical Information Systems | 2005
University of Edinburgh
MA, Geography | 2003


Duncan studied urban geography at the University of Edinburgh, going on to pursue an MSc in GIS for which he received a distinction. He then worked for two years for the transportation research consultancy DHC, working on sustainable travel projects around the UK.

In 2006 Duncan came to CASA UCL to undertake an ESRC funded studentship into built-environment research using GIS, supervised by Prof. Mike Batty and Dr. Andy Hudson-Smith. The thesis was compled in 2011, and is titled Polycentricity and Sustainable Urban Form, analysing built-environment structure and transport energy use in the London region. Amongst CASA's range of research projects, Duncan has focussed on urban modelling applications, and also worked with Greater London Authority on providing spatial modelling support for planning analysis.

Duncan joined LSE Cities in 2012, working on a range of urban sustainability research reports for cities such as Stockholm and Copenhagen. He also worked on high profile mapping and graphic design publications for the Urban Age conferences in 2012 and 2013, hosted in London and Rio de Janeiro respectively.

Returning to UCL in 2014, Duncan is currently employed on MECHANICITY urban morphology, scaling and sustainability project, led by Mike Batty.