Research into the characteristics of particular urban environments and how people inhabit them, govern them, and transform them is the focus of urban geography
This branch of geography has a rich and lively theoretical tradition and a diverse set of debates, alongside wide-ranging empirical work conducted through field work in places. Most urban research in the School of Geography is presently conducted in the western city – in Australia, with some comparative research in North America and Europe – though a focus on urban life in cities in the Asia-Pacific region is emerging. Collaboration with colleagues in urban planning and other built environment disciplines is well-established in the School, with research students and members of the academic staff involved in this collaboration. A normative orientation, that is a concern with improving the conditions of cities for different social and political groups, and of understanding what injustice and justice means for them, is an important part of the research of this group, and its teaching.
- Associate Professor David Bissell, David is an ARC Future Fellow whose research draws on cultural geography and poststructuralist theories of mobilities to investigate contemporary social problems involving mobility, labour and technologies.
- Dr Ilan Wiesel, Ilan is an ARC DECRA Fellow, and an urban geographer with research interests in social inequalities in cities, housing affordability and disability.
- Dr Tim Edensor, Tim has been working on national identity, place identity, and geographies of light and dark and is currently researching urban materiality by exploring the geographies of stone in Melbourne.
- Dr Nicole Cook, Nicole is an urban geographer with research interests in urban restructuring, urban governance, power and participation, social movement and resident activism, housing and home.
- Professor Emeritus Ruth Fincher AM, Ruth is an urban geographer with interests in the production of social and spatial difference in the western city, and the ways that social planning attempts to influence this.
- Dr Kate Shaw, Kate Shaw is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow in Urban Geography and Planning. Her current research focuses on urban renewal in the 21st century.
- Libby Straughan, Libby is a Research Assistant on the project Mobile Working Practices and a cultural geographer with research interests in embodied, sensuous and emotional engagements with environments.
- Louise Dorignon. Louise's doctoral research explores the links between housing, everyday life and the subversion of architecture in high-density contexts. She is interested in the geographies of rhythms and their social implications in cities. Supervisors: Dr Ilan Wiesel and Professor Ruth Fincher.
- Thea Hewitt. Thea is interested in cultural diversity and multiculturalism in Australia. Her research explores the settlement services and resources available to refugee and migrant groups in Melbourne. Supervisors: Emeritus Professor Ruth Fincher, Dr Nicole Cook and Dr Ilan Wiesel.
- Fanqi Liu. Fanqi is an urbanist whose research interests include people-place relationships, urban development, and urban inequality. Fanqi's doctoral research focuses on the emplacing of food and its connections with cities in Australia. Supervisors: Dr Ilan Wiesel and Professor Lesley Head.
- Talia Melic. Talia's research examines innovative housing programs within mixed-income residential settings in Paris and Melbourne, which aim to facilitate encounters that can shape relationships between people who are different. She is interested in exploring how practices, relationships and the built environment can interact to further social justice within cities. Supervisors: Dr Ilan Wiesel and Prof Ruth Fincher.
- Nida Mollison. Nida's doctoral research explores new forms of digital work that are changing the movement of people, goods and services in cities. She is interested in the kinds of intimacies and affects that are enabled and constrained by these working practices. Supervisors: Associate Professor David Bissell and Dr Ilan Wiesel.
- Adam Moore. Adam is interested in big data, platform capitalism, evaluative infrastructures, and the changing nature of work. Adam’s doctoral research explores the relationship between on-demand gig-work and new ways of moving people, goods and services intermediated by digital platforms. Supervisors: Associate Professor David Bissell and Dr Ilan Wiesel.
- Vickie Zhang. Vickie is a cultural geographer whose doctoral research considers experiences of loss in economically decelerating places, by tracking the affective movements of local lives ruptured by closing coal-mines in regional Australia and China. She's interested in post-structuralist approaches to experience and experimental research styles, working in particular with video and cinematography. Supervisors: Associate Professor David Bissell and Professor Mark Wang.