The Bartlett School of Planning

Prof Mike Raco

Prof Mike Raco

Chair of Urban Governance and Development

The Bartlett School of Planning

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Aug 2011

Research summary

My research focuses on the themes of urban governance, sustainable cities, and the changing nature of welfare states. 

I am currently PI on an EUFP7 funded project entitled 'Divercities' (see: http://www.urbandivercities.eu/) that is examining the relationships between urban policy and diversity in European cities. Other recent work has examined changing governance arrangements in the EU, UK and East Asia and my current research is exploring: the planning system and community engagement in London; the new localism and Big Society in England; the role of contracts and privatisation on local democracy and welfare reform; and understandings of culture-led urban development and resilience planning in London and Hong Kong; and the governance and management of the London Olympics 2012.

I am also supervising Ph.D. work on the topics of European Capital of Culture, the West Kowloon Cultural District, the Rio Olympics 2016, planning gain in England, and English regional policy.



Teaching summary

I currently joint-teach and Co-ordinate 2 courses on the Masters in Urban Regeneration: Urban Problems and Problematics and Case Studies in Implementing Urban Regeneration.

In the form I teach sessions on urban planning and urban change, urban security, property-led development, urban governance, and strategic planning.  In the latter my lectures cover the themes of concepts of community and the impacts of urban programmes in cities.

At undergradaute level I joint teach the course Development Projects: Regeneration in London at 3rd year level and give a lecture to 1st years on the Conceptualising Cities course on the theme of the post-political city.


I graduated from Royal Holloway University of London in 1994 with a B.A. Geography.  I then completed a Ph.D. in the same department in 1997 on the topic of 'Business Associations and the Politics of Local Economic Development in the UK' under the supevision of Professor Rob Imrie.

Subsequently I took up lectureships at the Universities of Glasgow (1997-2000), Reading (2000-2005), and King's College London (2005-2011), before taking up my current Chair in the Bartlett School of Planning in August 2011.