International Advisory Group: Member
Institution: Urban Institute, University of Sheffield
Interest and/or practice of interdisciplinarity:
Simon Marvin is the new director of the Urban Institute and Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. Simon is an internationally recognized academic with an excellent publication profile with expertise in constructing conceptual understanding and empirical evidence of the changing relations between socio-technical networks and urban and regional restructuring.
There are three particular area of urban interdisciplinary expertise that would be of relevance to this group. First, expertise in the analysis of the issues involved in developing urban interdisciplinary collaborations between science technology and social sciences. This has involved work examining the conceptual and practical challenges of develop interdisciplinary analysis in previous United Kingdom ESRC, EPSRC and NERC funded urban programmes. A conclusion of that published work was the need for a learning phase in developing urban interdisciplinary research and how such a phase could be consisted as an experimental learning programme. Second, he is also interested in the issue of how globally excellent urban research expertise is configured to address questions of local relevance and policy implementation. Through direct experience of urban knowledge arenas in both a COST network and funded work from Mistra Urban Futures in Gothenburg he is interested in exploring the ways that active intermediaries can be configured to develop policy exchange in urban contexts that is able to reshape the understanding of urban policy priorities and urban research agendas. Third, he has a substantive expertise in understanding the mutually defining interrelationships between urban priorities and technological networks – and the interrelations between urban context and technical change – explored through smart and computational technologies and low carbon transitions. Simon would thus expect to draw upon substantive areas of urban knowledge, experience of working in different urban contexts and with different disciplines in helping think through how responses can be developed for urban diagnostic and demonstration.