Dr Richard Smith

Associate Professor, Geography

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 602558

Email address

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


Research focuses on postmodernism, global cities, the business of cities, the future of cities, and the application of poststructuralist theory for understanding the contemporary world. Over 100 publications having written on social theory and urban space, world cities, global cities, urban networks, globalization, corporate services, structuralism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, 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 on six continents and having 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 other activities have been funded, commissioned, and sponsored by: ESRC, EPSRC, British Academy, European Union, British Association for Canadian Studies, Santander Bank, Fotografiska, University of Bristol, National University of Colombia, the city of Kazan, the Luxury Real Estate Association, TED, Korean Research Fund, and others.

Swansea: Member of Critical Human Geography Research Group; Co-Director Centre for Urban Theory (CUT); Member EPSRC Networks Research Group; Course Director MSc by Research in Urban Studies; Current supervisor for international PhD students on various topics regarding cities and poststructuralism; Geography Department Ethics Officer; Member of Faculty Ethics Committee. Previously REF Impact Lead (2010-2016); 2014 REF Swansea Geography had the highest impact in Wales and was 8th overall in the UK.

External: Elected Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers); Editor of the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies.

Areas Of Expertise

  • Social Theory and Urban Space
  • The City of the Future & The Future of Cities
  • The Business of Cities
  • Global Cities
  • World City Networks
  • Urban Studies
  • Poststructuralism
  • Baudrillard Studies

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests
New York Fieldtrip (2003)

I have created and continue to develop modules in exciting contemporary areas relating to world/global cities. Advocate authentic assessment and active pedagogy striving to help students apply and prepare for future careers in global cities, international financial centres, and urban regeneration.

Research-led teaching: Global Cities/Urban Photography/Bristol Field Trip (Yr 1), Vancouver Field Trip (Yr 2), World Cities (Yr 3), Global City Pathologies & Solutions/Elite Interviewing (MSc), Cities/Poststructuralism (MRes, PhD)

My world/global cities research features in the UK and International Geography school syllabus (for pupils aged 13 to 18 years old): for WJEC Eduqas GCSE Geography A and AQA & Cambridge International AS & A Level. I speak about world/global cities to schools, 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