Prof Andrew Smith

Prof Andrew Smith

I am Professor of Urban Experiences and I also lead the Sustainable Cities and the Urban Environnment Research Community. I have been at the University of Westminster since 2004. Previously, I held lectureships at the University of Kent (2003-4) and at Sheffield Hallam University (1999-2003). I read Geography at Cambridge University in the mid 1990s and then moved to Sheffield where I studied for a PhD in a programme of research entitled 'Reimaging the City'. This PhD was funded jointly by both Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.

I have written on various urban themes, but there are three main strands to my work. 

The first is events, in particular their role as tools for the regeneration and revitalisation of cities. I am particularly interested in the way events affect public space and I am one of the principal investigators on the HERA funded project: Festivals, events and inclusive public space in Europe. I am the co-editor of 'Festivals and the City: the Contested Geographies of Urban Events' - a new open access book published by the University of Westminster Press in 2022. 

A second strand relates to the dynamics, inclusivity and commercialisation of parks and urban green spaces. I have published multiple papers, reports and chapters that analyse the ways parks and green spaces are used as event venues; and have generated impact via contributions to media articles, design consultations and government inquries.

The third strand is my work on urban tourism, especially the role of iconic projects and monumental urbanism in tourism. This work is focused mainly on UK cities, but I have also published research on Oslo, Barcelona and Valletta. I am the co-editor of 'Destination London: The Expansion of the Visitor Economy' - an open access book published by the University of Westminster Press in 2019. 

My first book 'Events and Urban Regeneration' was published by Routledge in 2012; and my second 'Events in the City: Using Public Spaces as Event Venues' was published by Routledge in 2016. My research has also been published in leading journals including: Environment and Planning A, Urban Studies, European Planning Studies, European Urban and Regional Studies, Annals of Tourism Research and Tourism Geographies.

  • Place and Experience
  • Centre for Law, Society and Popular Culture

In brief

Research areas

Cities, parks, public space, festivals, mega-events, tourism

Supervision interests

Urban parks, public space animation, festivals and events, mega-events, city tourism.