The Bartlett School of Planning


Edward Jones

Research subject

Thesis title: Tech City: exploring the operation and governance of inner east London’s digital cluster

Primary supervisor: Professor Mike Raco
Secondary supervisor: Dr Claire Colomb
Sponsor: ESRC
Starting date: September 2012
Projected completion date: September 2016

Since the late 2000s, inner east London’s creative digital cluster has been the subject of sustained media and political attention. The silicon roundabout, or Tech City, has been praised as a source of economic growth, rooted in an edgy and creative neighbourhood.

Operationalising key concepts from the Cultural Political Economy framework, the project seeks to uncover the emergence of Tech City out of the material and semiotic landscape of inner east London. The project examines governance initiatives at a range of spatial scales which are seeking to support and make the most of Tech City, and investigates the embededdness of firms in a rapidly changing area.

Drawing parallels between representation and practices, the project employs primarily qualitative methods to research the governance of spatial economies and their implications for post-recession London.


Edward’s ESRC funded research focusses on the operation and governance of ‘Tech City’, the inner east London digital industries cluster which has risen to prominence in recent years. He is also working on a research project with Dr Jessica Ferm on industrial land in London. Edward teaches on two masters courses at UCL – ‘Spatial Planning: Concepts and Contexts’ and ‘Design and Real Estate Development’. He co-organised the ESRC London DTC interdisciplinary conference in 2014, and as PhD student rep has organised methodology away days and research seminars.

After studying for an undergraduate degree in international history at the LSE, Edward trained as an urban designer and then pursued an RTPI/ RICS accredited development planning masters at the University of Reading, for which he received a distinction. Edward practiced as a local authority town planner in London for seven years before returning to university.

Edward’s research is centred on the governance of spatial economies in London. He is interested in the way that urban development processes intersect with the fields of culture, politics and the economy. Outside UCL, Edward is a committee member of his estate’s tenants and residents association and a volunteer at Spitalfields City Farm. 

Publications and other work


Ferm, J. and Jones, E. (2015), ‘London's Industrial Land: Cause for Concern?’, UCL Working Paper. UCL: London

Jones, E. (2014) ‘What is inner east London?’ Taking Planning Forward

Conference Presentations

Jones, E. (2014) ‘Governing creative Shoreditch: Tech City and post-recession London’ Regional Studies Association Winter Conference, London, 27th – 28th November

Jones, E. (2014) ‘London's Tech City: the construction of a successful cluster after the recession’ Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference, London, 26th – 29th August

Jones, E. (2014) ‘Governing creative economies in inner east London’ Association of America Geographers Annual Meeting, Tampa, 8th – 12th April