This move clicks together a number of pieces for me. The Bartlett is one of the best places in the world to be an urbanist. CASA is a world leader for data-driven analysis of cities and urban places. My own research is increasingly using novel datasets and data-science methods; at the same time, I’ll be bringing economic geography and urban econ frameworks and methodologies to the CASA community. In particular, I’m interested in applying tools for causal inference to these new large urban datasets, as well as exploring what experiments and mixed methods designs can do. As I’ve written before, I think there is huge potential for these communities to play productively together. I’m looking forward to finding new ways to do that.
The Bartlett is also an excellent space to continue my policy-focused work in urban planning, innovation and industrial strategy. In particular, I want to develop some new strands of thinking on smart cities, automation, platforms, and how these change urban governance.
This is a bittersweet moment – I’ve found many good friends and colleagues at Birmingham since 2015. So I’m also happy that I will keep various links at the University, both through a number of live projects and as an affiliate at City-REDI. Crucially, this will also get me out of London from time to time. For a geographer, that’s not a small thing.