Professor of Urban and Regional Systems

Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

University College London

Distinguished Lecture

Modelling the evolution of cities and regions:
past and present

4.00pm, Tuesday 5th March 2013

West Room, Fulton House, Swansea University

Joint lecture with the Learned Society of Wales

The event is free and open to all, and followed by a reception.

To register for attending the lecture, please complete this form


How do cities and regions function? How do they evolve? These questions are significant and challenging both for science and for future planning. The science is essentially interdisciplinary: models are developed which draw on geography, economics, sociology and history as one might expect, but also from physics, ecology, mathematics and computer science. These models will be illustrated with applications from contemporary retailing and the London riots; ancient settlement structures in Greece, Crete and Assyria; and the impact of the railways on urban development in the United States.

Speaker's biography

Alan Wilson is Professor of Urban and Regional Systems in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London and is Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. His current research, supported by ESRC and EPSRC grants of around £3M, is on the evolution of cities and the dynamics of global trade and migration. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1991 to 2004 when he became Director-General for Higher Education in the then Department for Education and Skills. He is a Member of Academia Europaea, a Fellow of the British Academy, an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was knighted for services to higher education in 2001. His book, Knowledge power: interdisciplinary education for a complex world, was published by Routledge in 2010, The science of cities and regions, by Springer in January 2012 and his five volume (edited) Urban modelling by Routledge in September 2012.


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