The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


A spatial clustering of geography awards for CASA

1 December 2020


CASA’s work with Westminster Council has been awarded with one of this year’s Cabinet Office Geospatial Commission Geography in Government Awards. The work was nominated in the Excellence in Local Government Category - and the win was announced at a glittering online ceremony held with the Royal Geographical Society in November. Having narrowly lost out on being shortlisted for the Local Government Chronicle Awards recently, it's a testament to the hard work many staff in CASA have put in over the last 5 years supervising students and working on shaping MSc dissertation projects. Further details of the nomination can be read at the UK Government Geography Blog, and on LinkedIn, from CASA alumnus Kirsten Zeller.

Dr Adam Dennett, Head of Department, said, "Over the past 5 or 6 years, one of the defining features of our MSc programmes has been the opportunity for students to engage in real-world relevant research projects with the potential to have tangible impact. We now have a panel of over 40 organisations with whom we work to partner with students, but the very first of these was Westminster Council. Since our pioneering projects in 2015/16, the partnership has grown into the Westminster Urban Lab with our colleagues based in the King’s College CUSP London lab joining more recently. The annual symposium which has been running for the last few years has been a showcase for some of the excellent research that students have produced – from both CASA and Kings – and seeing first-hand how, for example, the research our students have carried out has had real impact on the council’s polices around things like sports participation and electric vehicle charging has been immensely gratifying. The urban lab work has been a true partnership with colleagues from Westminster willing to try things out and helping define the problems and facilitate access to data, while academics in CASA have used their expertise on the latest methods and innovations to help shape what is possible, while the students themselves have carried out the research. It is a formula that has worked extremely well and I am very proud that the efforts and innovations we have produced as a team, have had wider recognition for their significance through this award from the Geography in Government Awards.”

This news comes in the wake of a series of prizes and nominations awarded to CASA staff and students across the past year:

Xiaomei Ge, (MSc Smart Cities and Urban Analytics), Joint Runner-Up, Society for Location Analysis (SLA) Masters Student Award, for her dissertation, "Looking into home sharing platforms and their influence on local inequality and insecurity: a case study of London".

Thomas Keel (MSc Spatial Data Science and Visualisation) GIScRG Dissertation Prize (joint winner). Supervisor: Dr Huanfa Chen (Thomas Keel Wins Third Royal Geographical Society Prize For CASA)

Greg Slater (MSc Spatial Data Science & Visualisation) – Royal Geographical Society Planning and Environment Research Group. Supervisor: Dr Thomas Oléron Evans (Another RGS Prize for CASA Student)

Joshua Yee (MSc Smart Cities & Urban Analytics) - Royal Geographical Society Population Geography Research Group Prize. Supervisor: Dr Adam Dennett (CASA Student Wins Royal Geographical Society Prize)

You can also read Seven Questions with... Joshua Yee and a blog for CARTO by Joshua and Dr Adam Dennett, Using Spatial Analysis to Measure UK Gentrification.

Amidst new challenges and difficulties in this unprecedented year, CASA staff were also nominated for awards. Appearing on the Roll of Honour:

Dr Thomas Oléron Evans: Nominated for a Provost's Teaching Award (Nominated by his peers)

Nominated by students for contributions to teaching and student support:

Steven Gray: Nominated for the Student Choice Award for Active Student Partnership, Excellent Personal Tutoring and Inspiring Teaching Delivery

Dr Huanfa Chen: Nominated for a Student Choice Award for Amazing Student Support and Diverse and Inclusive Education 

Dr Sarah Wise: Nominated for the award for Excellent Student Feedback and Inspiring Teaching Delivery 

Dr Thomas Oléron Evans: Nominated for the award for Excellent Student Feedback and Inspiring Teaching Delivery

Dr Andrew Maclachlan: Nominated for the award for Inspiring Teaching Delivery

Professor Duncan Wilson: Nominated for the award for Inspiring Teaching Delivery

This is a fantastic roll-call and we are proud and thankful for the amazing team of educators we have in CASA. Congratulations to all for their excellent work this year and let's hope this is only the start of a bright new decade despite the current pandemic.