Dr Richard Smith

Associate Professor, Geography
Academic Office - 215
Second Floor
Wallace Building
Singleton Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision
Media Commentator


Research focuses on global cities, the business of cities, the future of cities, and on the application of continental philosophy for understanding the contemporary world. Over 100 publications having written predominantly on social theory and urban space, world cities, global cities, urban networks, globalization, corporate service firms, structuralism, poststructuralism, human geography, and Jean Baudrillard.

Educated at University of Hull (BA Hons, Geography 1st class) and University of Bristol (PhD, supervised by Sir Nigel Thrift (Awarded Phyllis Mary Morris scholarship & ESRC studentship)). Extensive international knowledge and experience having visited more than 100 countries and presented research and thinking at more than 50 international conferences, universities, and public events. He has conducted research in the UK, France, Netherlands, Singapore, USA, Canada, and Brazil. Research and speaking activities haven been funded by the ESRC, EPSRC, The British Academy, European Union, British Association for Canadian Studies, Santander Bank, National University of Colombia, the city of Kazan, the Luxury Real Estate Association, TED, Korean Research Fund, and many others.

At Swansea: Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Theory (CUT); Member of EPSRC Networks Research Group; Course Director for the MSc by Research in Urban Studies; Lead supervisor for PhD students including a cluster on the topic of 'Smart Cities'.

External Positions: Elected Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers); Editor of the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies; Member of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance.

Areas Of Expertise

  • Social Theory and Urban Space
  • The Future of Cities
  • The Business of Cities
  • Global Cities
  • Urban Studies
  • Poststructuralism
  • Baudrillard Studies

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests
New York Fieldtrip (2003)

An active and inclusive approach to teaching blending contemporary theory with practice to promote tangible skills development and employability at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have created and continue to develop modules in exciting contemporary areas relating to global cities. I advocate authentic assessment and active pedagogy and strive to help students apply and prepare for future careers in global cities, international financial centres, and urban regeneration.

Teaching on Global Cities / Urban Photography (Year 1), New York (Year 2), World Cities (Year 3), Global City Pathologies & Solutions Elite Interviewing (MSc) is research led.

A Roster of World Cities (Web of Science citation >570) is in the Geography syllabus for both AQA & Cambridge International AS & A Level. I speak about world cities to public, academic, and business audiences and incorporate these talks into my teaching; I have lectured on global cities at universities in Colombia and France.

Research Award Highlights Collaborations

Research as Art Competition 2015, Swansea University, SURF

TEDx London Talk: 'London After Brexit', June 2017