Dr Duncan Smith

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The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) is one of the leading forces in the science of cities, generating new knowledge and insights for use in city planning, policy and design and drawing on the latest geospatial methods and ideas in computer-based visualisation and modelling. We are part of The Bartlett: UCL's global faculty of the built environment.



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.

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. 

Research outputs

Online interactive thematic mapping: Applications and techniques for socio-economic research 2016 Smith DA
Crowdsourcing urban form and function 2015 Crooks A,Pfoser D,Jenkins A,Croitoru A,Stefanidis A,Smith D,Karagiorgou S,Efentakis A,Lamprianidis G
Domestic energy use in England and Wales: a 3D density grid approach 2014 Smith DA
Mapping the 'Space of Flows': The Geography of Global Business Telecommunications and Employment Specialization in the London Mega-City-Region 2014 Reades J,Smith DA
Stockholm: Green Economy Leader Report 2013 Floater G,Rode P,Zenghelis D,Montero Carrero M,Smith DA
SIMULACRA: fast land-use-transportation models for the rapid assessment of urban futures 2013 Batty M,Vargas C,Smith D,Serras J,Reades J,Johansson A
Simulating the Spatial Distribution of Employment in Large Cities: with Applications to Greater London 2012 Smith DA,Vargas C,Batty M
Estimating intra-metropolitan journey-to-work CO2 emissions: a multi-modal network approach applied to the London Region 2001 2012 Smith DA,Serras J
Polycentricity and Sustainable Urban Form: An Intra-Urban Study of Accessibility, Employment and Travel Sustainability for the Strategic Planning of the London Region 2011 SMITH D
Valuing housing and green spaces: Understanding local amenities, the built environment and house prices in London 2010 SMITH D
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Research activities

ARCADIA: Adaptation and Resilience in Cities: Analysis and Decision making using Integrated Assessment