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Dr Alasdair Jones

Dr Alasdair Jones

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

 Laver Building Laver Building 801d


Laver Building, University of Exeter, North Park Road, Exeter, EX4 4QE, UK


I am an interdisciplinary social scientist with particular expertise in the fields of urban studies (including sustainable urbanism) and programme evaluation. Throughout my research I am committed to using, refining and developing empirical approaches that enable the generation of insights into critical questions concerning urban planning, urban public space, and public policy programmes. Underpinning this research is a guiding theoretical interest in exploring (using qualitative methods in particular) disconnects between policy expectations/design intentions and practices.

Substantively, my research to date has centred on sustainable living practices, public space, and the urban mobility-public health nexus.  This research has been funded by, among others, the ESRC, NCRM and NIHR, as well as through a Fulbright Scholarship held at UC Berkeley's Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI).

At the University of Exeter I am a Senior Lecturer (Education and Scholarship) in the Department of Geography and the Global Systems Institute (GSI), with particular responsibility for developing online education offerings.  I am currently also a Research Associate at the University of Auckland’s Public Policy Institute (PPI) and have previously served as a Visiting Lecturer at the RCA’s School of Architecture.

Prior to joining the University of Exeter I was Associate Professor (and Deputy Head of Department) at the LSE’s Department of Methodology, where I worked for 9 years.  Before joining the LSE I worked as a Research Fellow both at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and at the University of Hertfordshire, and as a Senior Researcher at the Royal Society for the Arts’ Action and Research Centre.  I have also held visiting appointments in social research methodology at UC Berkeley (as a Fulbright Scholar), in urban studies at UNSW and in public policy at the University of Auckland.

I hold degrees in Geography (BA [Hons]) and Social & Political Sciences (MPhil) from the University of Cambridge (both awarded with distinction), and I received my ESRC-funded PhD from the LSE’s Cities Programme.

Broad research specialisms:

My research coalesces around an interest in exploring the interplay between formal policies/urban planning documents and social practices.  In broad terms, my research interests comprise:

  • Cities – the relationship between built form and social life in cities, with a particular emphasis on practices of sustainable urbanism, the production of public space, mobilities, and socio-material urban networks;
  • Programme evaluation – using qualitative methods to help evaluate the impacts of social policy and other interventions (in particular in the fields of sustainable transport, public health and social care);
  • Social research methods – research design, qualitative research methods and ethnography, with particular interests in i) methods that allow researchers to explore the disconnects between designs and practices, and ii) the use of qualitative methods in policy evaluation.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (Associate Level), 2017 (LSE)
  • PhD in Sociology, 2008 (LSE)
  • MPhil in Modern Society and Global Transformations, 2003 (University of Cambridge) [awarded with distinction]
  • BA (Hons) Geography, 2002 (University of Cambridge) [first class honours with distinction]

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Research interests

Sustainable urbanism; public space; sustainable transport and mobilities; socio-spatial networks.

Research projects

Bikes for Business: Evaluation for Team London Bridge (TLB).

Research Groups & External Responsibilities:

Writing Urban Places (member of Working Group 3: Methodological Framework).  EU Horizon 2020 COST Action CA18126

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Jones AJH (2016). On South Bank: the Production of Public Space., Routledge. Abstract.

Journal articles

Jones A (2024). Fieldnotes as never really ‘raw’ data: Analysing the social life of public space on London's South Bank. Area Abstract.
Jones A, Parham S (2023). Living in an Age-Friendly Community: Evidence from a Masterplanned Development in Southwest Sydney. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(2), 1312-1312. Abstract.
Özer S, Jones A (2022). Changing socio-spatial definitions of sufficiency of home: evidence from London (UK) before and during the Covid-19 stay-at-home restrictions. International Journal of Housing Policy, 1-26.
Jones A (2021). Public realm ethnography: (Non-)Participation, co-presence and the challenge of situated multiplicity. URBAN STUDIES, 58(2), 425-440.  Author URL.
Parham S, Jones A (2020). Exploring sustainable urbanism in masterplanned developments: a collective case study of slippage between principles, policies, and practices. Journal of Urbanism International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 14(1), 97-124.
Jones A (2018). Everyday without exception? Making space for the exceptional in contemporary sociological studies of streetlife. The Sociological Review, 66(5), 1000-1016.
Jones A (2018). Revisiting bott to connect the dots: an exploration of the methodological origins of social network analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung, 19(2). Abstract.
Green J, Roberts H, Petticrew M, Steinbach R, Goodman A, Jones A, Edwards P (2015). Integrating quasi-experimental and inductive designs in evaluation: a case study of the impact of free bus travel on public health. EVALUATION, 21(4), 391-406.  Author URL.
Goodman A, Jones A, Roberts H, Steinbach R, Green J (2014). 'We can all Just Get on a Bus and Go': Rethinking Independent Mobility in the Context of the Universal Provision of Free Bus Travel to Young Londoners. MOBILITIES, 9(2), 275-293.  Author URL.
Green J, Jones A, Roberts H (2014). More than a to B: the role of free bus travel for the mobility and wellbeing of older citizens in London. AGEING & SOCIETY, 34(3), 472-494.  Author URL.
Green J, Steinbach R, Jones A, Edwards P, Kelly C, Nellthorp J, Goodman A, Roberts H, Petticrew M, Wilkinson P, et al (2014). On the Buses: a mixed method evaluation of the impact of free bus travel for young people on the public health. Public Health Research, 2(1), 1-206.
Jones A (2013). A Tripartite Conceptualisation of Urban Public Space as a Site for Play: Evidence from South Bank, London. Urban Geography, 34(8), 1144-1170.
Jones A, Goodman A, Roberts H, Steinbach R, Green J (2013). Entitlement to concessionary public transport and wellbeing: a qualitative study of young people and older citizens in London, UK. SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE, 91, 202-209.  Author URL.
Edwards P, Steinbach R, Green J, Petticrew M, Goodman A, Jones A, Roberts H, Kelly C, Nellthorp J, Wilkinson P, et al (2013). Health impacts of free bus travel for young people: evaluation of a natural experiment in London. JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY AND COMMUNITY HEALTH, 67(8), 641-647.  Author URL.
Edwards P, Steinbach R, Wilkinson P, Petticrew M, Goodman A, Jones A, Roberts H, Kelly C, Nellthorp J, Green J, et al (2012). OP35 the Health Impacts of Free Bus Travel for Young People in London. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 66(Suppl 1).
Goodman A, Jones A, Roberts H, Steinbach R, Green J (2012). PS02 “We can all just Get on a bus and Go”: Rethinking Independent Mobility in the Context of the Universal Provision of Free Bus Travel to Young Londoners. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 66(Suppl 1).
Jones A, Steinbach R, Roberts H, Goodman A, Green J (2012). Rethinking passive transport: Bus fare exemptions and young people's wellbeing. HEALTH & PLACE, 18(3), 605-612.  Author URL.


Jones A (2023). Public Realm Ethnography: Understanding and Studying the Public Realm. In Inam A (Ed) Co-Designing Publics, Melton Woodbridge: Oro Editions, 39-43.
Jones A (2023). Tailoring Ethnography: (Co-)Present cognition in public realm research. In Machado e Moura C, Bernal DM, Restrepo ER, Havik K, Niculae L (Eds.) REPOSITORY: 49 Methods and Assignments for Writing Urban Places, Rotterdam: TU Delft Open / nai010 publishers, 178-181.
Tateo L, Nugin R, Jones A, Marsico G, Palang H (2021). Cities of Senses: Visible and Invisible Borders in Public Spaces. In  (Ed) Identity at the Borders and Between the Borders, Springer Nature, 7-22.
Bartholomew M, Jones A (2021). Ties through place: socio-material network analyses in urban studies. In Neal Z, Rozenblat C (Eds.) Handbook of Cities and Networks, Edward Elgar Publishing, 194-214.
Jones A (2020). From noisy coexistence to inclusion-through-resistance: (re)placing youth at London's 'South Bank' skate spot. In Loebach J, Little S, Cox A, Eubanks Owen P (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Designing Public Spaces for Young People Processes, Practices and Policies for Youth Inclusion, Routledge, 364-369.
Jones A (2019). “Something more, something better, something else, is needed”: a renewed “fête” on London’s South Bank. In Leahry-Ohwin M, McCarthy J (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Henri Lefebvre, the City and Urban Society, Routledge, 512-521.


Jones A, Parham S (2021). Realising Urban Sustainability? a collective case study of slippages between principles, policies, and practices in masterplanning. Auckland, New Zealand, Public Policy Institute, University of Auckland.
Parham S, McCormack J, Jones A (2015). People, products and places (Research Final Report): Exploring sustainable-living practices in masterplanned communities. Hatfield, University of Hertfordshire.
Rowson J, Broom S, Jones A (2010). Connected Communities: How social networks power and sustain the Big Society. London, RSA.

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External Engagement and Impact

Research Associate (Public Policy Institute [PPI], university of Auckland)

Associate Fellow (UK Higher Education Academy [HEA])

Funding panel responsibilities

I am a current member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Pre-doctoral Fellowship Selection Committee (2019-23).

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Supervision / Group


  • Nimesh Dhungana 2019 PhD thesis: The politics of citizen-centric governance in post-earthquake Nepal (co-supervisor)
  • Seyithan Ozer 2021 PhD thesis: Interior Complex: Housing Design, Evidence, Policy (co-supervisor)

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Office Hours:

Office hour appointments with me require advanced booking via my office hour appointment booking page.  In Term 3 2023/24 my office hours will be taking place on Wednesdays (15.00-17.00) bar in Week 5 when I will be on annual leave.

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