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Prof Michael Batty
1st Floor
90 Tottenham Court Road
  • Professorial Research Associate
  • Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
  • Faculty of the Built Environment
  • Emeritus Professor of Planning
  • Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
  • Faculty of the Built Environment

Michael Batty is, by training, an architect-planner and geographer. He is currently Bartlett Professor of Planning (Emeritus) at University College London where he is Chairman of the Management Board of CASA. His career began in the University of Manchester in 1966 where he was appointed an Assistant Lecturer in Town and Country Planning. He then spent 10 years at the University of Reading as Research Assistant, Lecturer and Reader in Geography, before moving to the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (now the University of Cardiff), in 1979, where he was Professor of Town Planning. During this time he acted as Head of Department, and Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design. In 1990, he moved to direct the NSF National Centre for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY-Buffalo) where he was a Professor of Geography. He has held several visiting appointments in computing, engineering, planning, and geography at the Universities of Illinois, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Bristol, and Michigan, and is currently a Visiting Distinguished Professor at Arizona State University, and an Honorary Professor at Cardiff University.

He has been at UCL since 1995 where he established CASA as an interdisciplinary centre focussed on the development of mathematical and computer methods in geographical information science, urban and regional modelling, and the scientific theory of cities. CASA has grown to around 50 research and administrative staff in the last 15 years and now has an annual income of around £3 million mainly funded from research grants coming primarily from EPSRC, ESRC, JISC, the EU 7th Framework, and the ERC.

He was a member of the Computer Board for British Universities and Research Councils (1988-1990), and Chair (1980-1982), then Vice-Chair (1982-1984) of the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Environment and Planning Committee. He was a member of the SERC (Science and Engineering Research Council) Transport Committee (1982-1985). He is currently Chair of the ESRC Census Advisory Committee and a Member of the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information which is part of the Ministry of Justice. From 1997 to 2003, he was a member of the Association of Universities of the Netherlands (VSNU-NWO-KNAW) Quality Assessment of Research (RAE) Panel for the Built Environment acting as Chair at TU-Delft in 2003. He was a member of the RAE 2006-2009 Geography Panel.

He has received various honours for his work. In 1999, he was awarded the Sir George Back Award by the Royal Geographical Society, the Association of Geographic Information Award for Technological Progress (1998) and for Innovation (2002). Amongst his recent awards are: The Alonso Memorial Prize, Regional Science Association for Cities and Complexity (MIT Press, 2005); The UCGIS Award for Research, 2011-2012; and the Lauréat Prix International de Géographie Vautrin Lud (The Nobel for Geography). He was awarded an Hon DLitt from SUNY Buffalo, 2008. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in 1982 and made a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 2001 when he was also elected to the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS). He was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2004 for ‘services to geography’, and made a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2009.

Research Summary

His research work involves the development of computer models of cities and regions, and he has published many books and articles in this area. His book Cities and Complexity (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2005) won the Alonso Prize of the Regional Science Association in 2010. His most recent books are The New Science of Cities (MIT Press, Cambridge. MA, 2013) and the edited volumes Virtual Geographic Environments (ESRI Press, Redlands, CA, 2011) and Agent Based Models of Geographical Systems (Springer, Berlin, 2012). He is editor of the journal Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. The work of his group can be seen on the CASA web site http://www.casa.ucl.uk/ and in his blogs http://www.spatialcomplexity.info/ and http://www.complexcity.info/  

Teaching Summary

Urban Simulation: Methods, Models and Planning Applications, Department of Geography, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, October 12th – October 15th, 2010, http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk/rits/

Advanced Urban Modeling, Arizona State University, GCU 598 (28167) and PUP 598 (28168), Tempe, AZ, April 26 – May 7, 2010, http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk/asu/

Cyberspace: The Geography and Planning of Virtual Worlds, (BSc3: Geography; BSc2 and 3: Bartlett Planning ), 1999-2001 (UCL)

Methods for Human Geographers (BSc2: Geography), 1998–2001 (UCL)

Practice of Geography (BSc2: Geography), 1997-1998 (UCL)

Planning Analysis (BSc 2: Bartlett Planning, MPhil Planning from 1998), 1997-1998 (UCL)

Methods for Geographers (B113: BA1/BSc1: Geography), 1996 (UCL)

GIS for Planners (BSc2/BSc3: Bartlett Planning), 1996 (UCL)

The Geography of the Information Society (GEO666), 1995 (Buffalo)

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GEO481), 1994 (Buffalo)

World Civilization Post 1500 (UGC112B), 1992-1994 (Buffalo)

Land Use-Transport Models (GEO674), 1991-1993 (Buffalo)

Transportation Systems (GEO335), 1991 (Buffalo)

Urban Design (BSc1), 1986-1990 (Cardiff)

Microcomputer Applications in Planning (MSc2/DipTP2), 1984-1990 (Cardiff)

Planning Methods (MSc1), 1979 -1990 (Cardiff)

Introduction to Planning Methods (BSc1), 1979-1986 (Cardiff)

Research Methods (Scientific Method) (BSc2/MSc1), 1979-1986 (Cardiff)

Quantitative Methods (MSc2), 1979-1980 (Cardiff)

Planning Techniques (BSc2), l979-l980 (Cardiff)

Introduction to Contemporary Planning (MSc1), 1979-1980 (Cardiff)

Planning Processes (MSc/MPhil), 1976-1979 (Reading)

Land Use Models (MASc), 1974-1975 (Waterloo)

Information Theory (MASc), 1974-1975 (Waterloo)

Urban Land Use Models (MSc), 1973-1979 (Reading)

Theory and Practice of Planning (MSc), 1973-1979 (Reading)

Spatial Interaction (BSc2), 1973-1979 (Reading)

Central Place Theory (BSc2), 1972-1974 (Reading)

Urban Economics (BSc2), 1972-1976 (Reading)

Urban Design and Regional Planning, BA4, 1966-1969 (Manchester)

2010 – 2030 Chair and (Emeritus) Bartlett Professor of Planning CASA UCL, United Kingdom
1995 – 2010 Director and Head of Department Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis UCL, United Kingdom
1990 – 1995 Director National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis State University of New York at Buffalo, United States
1985 – 1989 Head of Department Environmental Design University of Wales, United Kingdom
1983 – 1986 Dean of the School of Environmental Design Environmental Design University of Wales, United Kingdom
1979 – 1989 Professor of City and Regional Planning Faculty of Engineering and Environmental Design University of Wales, United Kingdom
1976 – 1979 Reader Geography University of Reading, United Kingdom
1974 – 1975 Assistant Professor Civil Engineering University of Waterloo, Canada
1970 – 1976 Research Assistant, Lecturer Geography University of Reading, United Kingdom
1966 – 1969 Studio Assistant / Assistant Lecturer Department of Town and Country Planning University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1983 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Urban and Rural Planning University of Wales, Swansea
1966 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Urban and Rural Planning University of Manchester
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